The Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) in the UH Mānoa College of Education (COE) will receive a $2.3 million grant over three years from the U.S. Department of Education, Native Hawaiian Education Program, for its proposal Mohala I Ke Ao (MIKA): A culturally-responsive, multi-tiered beginning reading support system for schools and communities with diverse learners.

“Mohala I Ke Ao is a large-scale comprehensive effort led by a longstanding partnership between CRDG’s Pacific Literacy Consortium (PLC) and the Hawai‛i Department of Education’s Office of Hawaiian Education,” Principal Investigator Hugh Dunn said. “Project MIKA will also team with early literacy researchers at the local and national levels and program providers whose work is at the intersection of education, neuroscience, and policy.”

Grounded in scientific research in the field of reading, MIKA’s theory of action targets increasing teachers’ understanding and application of evidence-based early reading instruction, helping struggling readers achieve grade level competency, and increasing parent engagement through home-based literacy initiatives.

MIKA is designed to improve children’s foundational early literacy skills, which are critical for a successful transition to higher levels of reading competence. The program will annually serve approximately 6,000 students and 350 teachers in 12 Hawai‘i public schools across four islands and six complex areas.

Dunn concluded, “The implementation and evaluation of MIKA will add to our knowledge of best practices in developing successful and scalable reading intervention models for schools and communities with diverse learners.”

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