About Friends

In 2006, a group of parents, teachers and community leaders joined together to create a non-traditional public charter school in West Hawai‘i. Motivated by a desire to provide an innovative educational program to our rural, underserved community, the group founded Friends of Kona Pacific Public Charter School.

Friends’ 38-acre learning center site is located mauka (above) the Kona Community Hospital in Kealakekua.

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Friends works in support of Kona Pacific Public Charter School; the two entities are independent and act as partner organizations under a Memorandum of Agreement. Together, the two organizations pursue parallel missions of service to the West Hawai‘i community.

Friends of Kona Pacific Public Charter School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation Friends’ operations are based on the 38-acre Kanaueue Community Learning Center, home to the school campus, an organic production farm in development, and several educational and sustainable agriculture initiatives.

Friends’ strategic plan leverages our 38-acre property, the Kanaueue Learning Center, to develop community-based educational initiatives that provide numerous educational benefits to the students of Kona Pacific and other schools, and a diverse range of economic and social benefits to our rural, underserved community. Together, Friends and Kona Pacific successfully:

  • Operate a beautiful, thriving 3-acre campus that serves Kona Pacific’s 230 K-8 students and their families;
  • Utilize the entire 38 acres for activities that support the outdoor experiential learning curriculum at Kona Pacific;
  • Are developing and constructing the first community kitchen for West Hawaii, which will house both a community foodservice and a value-added processing kitchen for local farmers;
  • Implement a highly successful AmeriCorps program (FarmCorps Hawaii), with 21 AmeriCorps volunteers providing labor and support for the school and community gardens at Kona Pacific and other West Hawaii schools and sites. The volunteers receiving valuable training and monetary educational awards;
  • Partner with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in the development of the first commercial “food forest park” in West Hawai‘i;
  • Provide critically needed housing for several members of the Kona Pacific staff and faculty.
  • Create significant economic development for our community: 40 full time and 25 part time jobs and an operational budget that adds more than $2 million annually to our local economy.

For more information about Friends of Kona Pacific Public Charter School and our community projects and initiatives, email friends@kppcs.org