Going to school means so much to our keiki. It’s a place for socialization, structure, and extracurricular activities. For many, it’s a source of support and a place where essential services, such as breakfast and lunch, can be accessed. Our schools provide a safety net, but COVID-19 has upended that. Due to extended school closures by the DOE, a hui of parents joined forces with Activate Hawai‘i Aid to figure out a way to support our keiki. We wanted to do something that served their physical and emotional well-being. Hence, the Keiki Care Packs program was born.
Our amazing volunteer hui distributed 1,000 care packs in March, 2,700 in April, and 5,000 in May to keiki in communities all around Hawai‘i Island.
Please note that our safety and mitigation protocols were updated after shooting the video (above) during our March distribution. In addition to social distancing measures, masks and gloves are now mandatory for all volunteers.
For each of our Keiki Care Pack drops, we curated activities and resources that would feed a child’s curiosity, spirit, and emotional well-being. We are posting links to print files below so all ‘ohana can access. Enjoy and happy memory making!
After our first care pack drop, a mom commented on our social media post her wish to have a resource that would help her speak to her child about the novel coronavirus. We’re so lucky that our friend Janice Ikeda with Vibrant Hawai‘i was up to the task of developing this special resource. A Little Book About Coronavirus to Help Our Keiki Understand Why Life Changed is available in English, ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, and American Sign Language.
Our friends at PangeaSeed Foundation believe a drop of paint can create an ocean of change, so they developed a customized suite of Creative Coloring Companions for the various age groups receiving our care packs. Each educational booklet included coloring pages accompanied by information on marine environmental issues, action steps, and an artist statement.
Puna-based artist Kai Kaulukukui is featured in the 13-18 year old coloring companion for his recent mural PUNA STRONG, completed as part of the Activate Puna project. The mural is inspired by Kai’s interactions with Pāhoa High & Inter students who shared what makes Puna strong and unique, mauka to makai, one year after the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.
Our friends at Lili‘uokalani Trust developed Kūkulu Kumuhana, a wellbeing framework built on the six principles of Ea, ‘Āina Momona, Pilina, Waiwai, ‘Ōiwi, and Ke Akua Mana. Their tipsheet, Native Hawaiian Wellbeing during COVID-19, provides simple ideas, activities and reminders for self care, ‘ohana care, and community care. Based on the Kūkulu Kumuhana framework, they developed the “What is Your Superpower?” activity booklet to for our care packs project.
808 Urban collaborated with Lili‘uokalani Trust to create a special coloring book for Hawai‘i’s keiki, which encouraged them to be e ‘onipa‘a I ka ‘imi na‘auao – be steadfast in the seeking of knowledge. For each artwork included in the book, companion mana‘o (knowledge, wisdom) was included.
We discovered the COVID-19 Time Capsule via All Kids Network. The resource was developed and generously shared with the global community by Natalie Long, and includes activities for children to interview parents, list their favorite foods, write a letter to themselves, and more.
Globally renowned artist Yoskay Yamamoto graciously created a set of digital drawings he made for recent projects that we could share with keiki care pack recipients. The set includes a trio of artwork: Dreaming House, The Moon and The Guitar, and Moonflower. If you live in Hilo, you have likely seen Yosaky’s work at Agasa Furniture and the Kress Building as part of his collaboration and residency with Temple Children.
We included information by On Our Sleeves, a movement to transform children’s mental health, that has evidence-based resources to help kids cope during this challenging time. There’s a Summer Guide to Staying Mentally Fit, Stress Buster Bingo, and a series of Conversation Starters to help children talk about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and 10-step guide on How to Talk to Your Kids About Mental Health.
Other fun resources we found and included in our care packs: