CDS Projects

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Hawaiʻi Positive Engagement Project (H-PEP)

H-PEP Project

Hawaiʻi Positive Engagement Project (H-PEP) is designed to extend the knowledge gained from our two successful previous projects, First Step to Success in Hawaiʻi Preschools and The Hawaiʻi Preschool Positive Engagement Project.

H-PEP's top value are a Positive Mindset, Connection, Responsibility, Empowerment, & Well-being.

The primary goals of H-PEP are to:

  1. Address the professional development (PD) needs of Native Hawaiian early educators (preschool teachers, aides, administrators) and those who work with Native Hawaiian students in Early Childhood Education;
  2. Build knowledge and increase early educators’ use of effective, research- based, culturally appropriate strategies that will strengthen early learning outcomes for at- risk Native Hawaiian preschool students;
  3. Build protective factors of Native Hawaiian families with young children by facilitating positive parent engagement and early literacy skills through the use of culturally appropriate research-based strategies;
  4. Create and disseminate an accessible repository of hardcopy and online materials for continued use post-grant, to increase the sustained use of effective strategies. H-PEP will provide engaging PD in three modalities (in –person, web-based, and mixed), provide mentoring and goal setting support to educators, provide financial support for early educators to access continuing education opportunities, facilitate parent groups, and disseminate information.
Team Members
  • Naomi Rombaoa Tanaka, PI/ Project Coordinator
  • Kristy Akana, Education Specialist
Part time teammates:
  • Leanne Chang, Assistant Coordinator/ Project Associate
  • Vanessa Crail, Early Childhood Education Specialist
  • Dr. Susan Mrazek, Education Specialist
  • Camille Rockett, Professional Development Specialist
  • Leah Whitney, Professional Development Specialist
  • Sharlynn Paet, Visual Media Specialist
  • Bryce Pedersen, Student Assistant
  • Dr. Chuan Chin, Evaluator
  • Dr. Lisa Boyce, Process Evaluator
Project Dates
Project Start Date: 
September, 2015
Project End Date: 
September, 2018
Project Funding
Funding Agency: 
US Department of Education, Native Hawaiian Education Program
Primary Contact
Naomi Rombaoa Tanaka
Principal Investigator / Project Coordinator
Secondary Contact