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Kaiser awards $150K in grants to two Hawaii nonprofits for keiki COVID-19 education

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Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has awarded grants totaling $150,000 to two Hawaii nonprofits to help them increase awareness about COVID-19 and vaccine safety among school-aged youth in communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Kaiser awarded $100,000 to the Hawaii Afterschool Alliance, and $50,000 to the Hawaii Science and Technology Museum.

The Hawaii Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with the Hawaii Public Health Institute, will use the funds to award mini-grants to student groups, schools, classrooms, youth sports teams, and community organizations creating culturally relevant COVID-19 awareness programs for Filipino, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

These include translated messaging campaigns, peer-to-peer and peer-to-parent strategies, and vaccination incentive programs.

The Hawaii Science and Technology Museum will use the funds to support its Keiki Heroes program, a community initiative that provides families with fun, engaging, and culturally relevant ways to encourage healthy habits.

Keiki Heroes will develop and distribute educational materials in Chuukese, Kosraean, Marshallese, Ilocano Tagalog, and Spanish that focus on vaccine education. The organization will partner with the Hawaii Fire Department to distribute the materials to all schools on Hawaii island during Fire Prevention Week.

“The most effective way to protect our youngest residents, especially those who are not yet able to be vaccinated against COVID-19, is through organizations that have built trusted relationships within their communities,” said Greg Christian, Hawaii Market President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, in a news release. “We are pleased to partner with Hawaii Afterschool Alliance and Hawaii Science and Technology Museum as they develop out-of-the-box programs that will resonate with families and help us get closer to the day when we don’t have to worry about this devastating disease.”

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