We interviewed Chris Hecht, the Executive Director at the Kona Pacific Public Charter School, to learn more about the school and find out how the community can help and participate in their programs and activities.
Kona Pacific provides education through the arts and integrates Hawaiian culture and agriculture studies into its Waldorf curriculum. It serves students in grads K-8. Funds raised through the Kona Brewer’s Festival are dedicated to the school’s garden program and environmental sustainability initiatives.
When was Kona Pacific Public Charter School founded?
We began work on the project in August 2006, and opened in August 2008.
What are some of KPPCS’ proudest moments and biggest successes?
- Opening with 99% enrollment our first year, showing we’re really meeting community need.
- Growing 20% each year since opening.
- Securing a 3m loan from the USDA’s Rural Development Community Facilities program this year to purchase our 40 acre campus and triple classroom space.
What are some of the biggest/most exciting challenges ahead?
- Building 6000 square feet in 2.5 months this summer.
- Implementing a canoe building program for our middle school students, which will weave core academics, Hawaiian cultural studies, and woodworking together.
- Developing an after school competitive sports program for our older kids.
And how do you plan to face those challenges?
We have a strong community, and find that we do well when we look within for the help we need. In addition, we’re partnering with organizations such as the USDA to serve our community.
How can the community help/get involved?
We’ll need help putting the finishing touches on our new classrooms as soon as the construction crews are done. We’re also looking for coaches to help start our athletics programs, building them from the ground up.