Message from the
Request for Proposals
Message from the
Request for Proposals
The Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation, founded in 1894, and its component fund, the Henry and Dorothy Castle Memorial Fund, remain committed to promoting high quality early education and care for children ages 0-5. This historic commitment is especially vital as contemporary cognitive research into brain development concludes that the first five years of life establish much of a child's intellectual, emotional and psychological well being. There is no other stage in life that offers such an opportunity to enhance significant human outcomes. Moreover, investment in our young children prevents much expensive social dysfunction which requires greater costs to remediate. The Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation also funds some K-3 independent education, higher education pre-school teacher training projects, and culture and arts projects that enhance the quality of life for young children and their families.
In 2012, we provided $1,765,466 in direct grants to a wide range of effective non-profits. We are especially pleased with our role in sponsoring efforts to promote school readiness, capital improvements in pre-school facilities, private and public school leadership training, parent education, quality early education and care, pre-school tuition assistance, early education scholarships and early education curricular development. Our Request for Proposals provide ongoing opportunities for pre-schools to assist teachers in their professional development.
I also note our continuing commitment to pre-school directors' leadership training through our nearly 20 years old Castle Colleagues program. The Castle Colleagues program gives pre-K site directors a highly practical, hands-on array of management skills, tools, sources and information, while remaining respectful of their time. Participants meet in a series of three intensive retreats (usually 3-4 days) on weekdays and weekends. The program is organized to give reach group some peers and resource people they can contact, long after the official course ends. We believe the program is a unique contribution to the early education field and is consistent with our Foundation's emphasis on teacher training stretching back to the 19th century. The program is housed at Chaminade University, a Catholic liberal arts university in Honolulu. Session leaders include a wide variety cross-sector resource people from other Hawaii colleges, as well as respected practitioners in accounting, communications, fund raising and legal practice.
Since the 19th century when the Foundation leveraged other charitable dollars to help develop key institutions like the University of Chicago's Lab School, Hull House, Columbia University's College of Education and Hawaii's kindergarten system, we have sought creative funding partnerships to effect systematic improvement in our state. These and other efforts are analyzed in Al Castle's revised edition of “A Century of Philanthropy: A History of the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation” (University of Hawaii Press, 2004). We are also grateful for our current 8-year partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in implementing and strengthening high quality early education in Hawaii.
Through our executive director's efforts with such national groups as Grantmakers for Education, Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families, and the Early Education and Care Funders Collaborative, we have a visible and productive role in furthering professional development in the burgeoning field of philanthropy. We welcome collaboration with mainland foundations and professional associations seeking to make philanthropy as productive and as effective as possible.
Much remains to be done in the area of teacher training change. Working with our Community Advisory Committee, we are funding opportunities to align instruction, outcomes, curriculum and assessment from pre-school to grade 3. PK-3 connects pre-kindergarten and K-3 elementary education. PK-3 schools integrate the academic subject matter emphasis of K-3 education with the child development emphasis of early education. This cohesive learning experience for young children is a cost-effective solution to upgrading teacher training and student outcomes. In 2013, we will be seeking educational and funding partners to further this innovation.
In 2013, we will continue our work with public and private funders to implement the state Quality Ranking and Improvement Plan created in part with a grant made by our Foundation in 2011. This plan proposes a collaborative and systematic approach to addressing five areas of reform in Hawaii:
To that end, we will continue our partnerships with the Department of Human Services, The Early Learning Council, Advisory Board, the University of Hawaii, Chaminade University and other private and public entities to further our mission.
Our greatest challenge in this era of diminished assets and income is to maintain funding for core projects and programs while sustaining support for crucial child-friendly state and federal policies. In 2013, we will continue our balanced approach to strengthening Hawaii’s early education through support of teacher training, curricular design, quality improvements, support of the state plan for a public-private system that will eventually afford universal access to pre-K for all four-year-olds, pre-K low income tuition assistance, and capital improvements to quality pre-K facilities.
In 2013, the trustees will reserve $250,000 of our distribution budget to support a select group of high quality, accredited pre-schools that serve a high percentage of low-income students and families. The schools pre-selected by our trustees for low-income tuition assistance are located in rural, suburban, and urban locations across the state. We believe the financial investment will help stabilize enrollments in a difficult economy while rewarding pre-schools which have demonstrated high quality.
Finally, in August of 2012 our trustees welcomed Dr. Robert G. Peters, a nationally distinguished early educator, to our board of trustees. Dr. Peters is well known as the president (retiring in 2013) of Hanahau’oli School in Honolulu.
I join my colleagues in thanking the non-profit leaders in our state for working with us in better serving Hawaii’s families.
With warm aloha,
Randolph G. Moore