The Aloha Writers Conference is a project of Keiki O Ka ʻĀina Family Learning Centers. Keiki O Ka ʻĀina (KOKA) is a nonprofit established in 1996. It serves the needs of the community through research-proven, culturally appropriate educational programs, designed to support and strengthen families. These specialized services include Native Hawaiian cultural enrichment services, development of family literacy curriculum, (KOKA is a small press), English-Hawaiian language curriculum and childcare programs. Our Parents As Teachers (PAT) Program for prenatal to age three received the PAT National Center’s Losos Award for Excellence in 2006 and KOKA employed the PAT Parent Educator of the Year in 2009. We also conduct nine Parent Participation Preschools for Hawaiian caregivers/children including one for infants and toddlers with special needs, and KOKA provides mentoring for Hawaiian children affected by incarceration.
In 2007, the State of Hawaii recognized KOKA’s outstanding dedication to educating children and supporting families and the community in a cultural context by providing “Grant in Aid” funds enabling the agency to purchase a three-acre property in Kalihi Valley. Extreme Makeover Home Edition chose KOKA to be the recipient of a community-based learning center, which 3000 community volunteers built on the newly acquired property. We currently serve over 2000 Hawaiian families. To learn more, visit us at www.keikiokaaina.org.
Momi is the organization’s Executive Director. Momi has a Bachelors Degree in International Business and extensive background in Early Childhood Education. Held in high esteem in the education and Native Hawaiian communities, Momi was the keynote speaker for the Native Hawaiian Education Conference held at Leeward Community College on Oahu in 2002 speaking on Early Childhood Programs, Cultural Competence, Infant and Maternal Mental Health and Stress Management. Momi is a certified PAT (Parents As Teachers) Supervisor and a certified HIPPY (Home Instruction For Parents Of Preschool Youngsters) Program Coordinator.
- Gail Bellamy, Poet and Journalist
- William Bernhardt, Author
- Jacquelyn Mitchard, Author/Editor
- Clifford Na`eole, Hawaiian Cultural Specialist
- Paul Wood, Journalist and Author
Derived from the words of Ernest Hemingway, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
It is our mission to inspire, motivate, instruct, and support new and experienced writers, helping them reach their fullest potential.
Our vision is to be an incubator for creativity, a scaffold for excellence in writing, and a gentle breeze disseminating the seeds of culture and knowledge.
We instill the following Hawaiian Cultural Values into our conference and retreat:
- To Love, have Compassion, Respect ALOHA
- To Care for, Protect MALAMA
- To Show Hospitality HO`OKIPA
- To Be Helpful KOKUA
- To take Responsibility HO`OKULEANA