Coalitions in Action: Community Works in 96744 Coalition (CWC)

Based in Hawaii and formed in 2001, Community Works in 96744 Coalition (CWC) is now a coalition of non-profit agencies, schools, youth organizations, government, faith-based organizations, youth, businesses, civic organizations, health-related organizations, law enforcement, parents, substance abuse providers, media and concerned residents.

“Our concern about drug use motivated the 96744 community to organize a campaign to strengthen youth, family and community resilience so that youth may enjoy a healthy future,” said Christine Hanakawa, program coordinator. “Currently, CWC 96744 is focusing on the prevention of substance abuse among young people, especially on underage drinking through the Partnerships for Success Grant.”

The Kaneohe-Kahaluu is framed by ocean on one side and steep, fluted mountains that are actually the remnants of an ancient volcano on the other. A road that traverses the island goes through the business district, through neighborhoods, past farms and rainforest. It is approximately 15 miles to Honolulu over the mountain, through either of two tunnels. The geographic area covers from Kaneohe, Ahuimanu, Kahaluu, Waikane, Waiahole, and Hakipuu through Kualopa.

The 96744 community has more than 54,000 residents in small town, suburban and rural settings. The community is highly multi-lingual and multi-cultural. There are eight elementary schools, one intermediate school, one high school and a community college.

The CWC sponsors is the annual “5Rs Festival of Fun and Castle High School Showcase.”  Hawaii takes great pride in the concept of Ohana (family).

“It gives us the strength to raise our children to be respectful, responsible, and caring people,” said Hanakawa. Now, more than ever, “it takes a village to raise a child.” The 96744 community works on recommitting to being the Ohana that will guide children into a promising future. CWC is focusing on what it takes to be a successful adult: respect, responsibility, resourcefulness, relationships, and resiliency.

To recognize the children and adults in the community, CWC and the 5Rs Workgroup organizes the 5Rs Festival of Fun and Castle High School Showcase.  All 10 Castle Complex Schools select students who have demonstrated the 5Rs during the school year.  These students are recognized at the event with their fellow peers through a presentation and a 5Rs school picture.  The community also selects and recognizes outstanding adults who also demonstrate the 5Rs.  Over 1,200 people, including the recognized students, participate at this annual event held at Windward Mall.  Besides the recognition ceremony, over 20 various community organizations and school programs participate in a hands-on and interactive learning experience that highlights one of the 5Rs.

“We have learned that building relationships is very important, these relationships will start the foundation to having strong partners in the coalition,” said Hanakawa. “Working with a diverse group of people gives the coalition an opportunity to work with people who can contribute their diverse skills or link to other resources in the community.”