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Center on Disability Studies

2022 - 2023 Annual Report

Ulu Aʻe Transitions

Ulu Aʻe, which literally means to grow upward, is a 3-year USDOE grant that aims to improve the academic and HĀ achievement of at-promise students by strengthening resilience to support successful navigation of students transitioning through public schools, from elementary to middle to high and beyond.

A primary objective of Ulu Aʻe is to create resources that incorporate culture-based and digital media skills-building learning activities to support a sense of belonging and personal identity essential for the academic, character, physical, and social-emotional well-being of all our students.

School-based teams work with Ulu Aʻe project staff to implement proposed learning activities and develop new ones as needs are identified. Activities utilize a wide range of proven strategies including culture-based lessons that have demonstrated positive impact on students, field ʻāina-based experiences, integrating technology to improve 21st century skills, and building positive relationships and interconnections among, students, families, and educators.

#Pono: Pass It On! Challenge


All Teachers, Youth Advisors, Students, and Families: 
Create a ONE-MINUTE-OR-LESS VIDEO that inspires positivity and change! 

Submit your video entry NOW to be eligible for awards each semester.

PONO: a way of being and doing in Hawaiian culture that guides us to do what is RIGHT. Reflecting on ʻOlelo Noʻeau and other meaningful quotes offers the opportunity to explore ways to creatively express pono thoughts and ideas. It’s easy to participate using our #Pono: Pass It On! Reflection Cards (download Elementary & Middle/High) Posters Grades K-3 (download HERE)


  • Grades K – 6: Individual or group of students, with parent, teacher or adult advisor
  • Grades 7 – 12: Individual or group of students (adult advisor optional)
  • Ohana (family) entries are also welcome!


  • CREATE a one-minute-or-less video with a “PONO” theme: a way of being and doing in Hawaiian culture that guides us to do what is RIGHT. Be CREATIVE, using a song, skit or dance video.
  • #PASS IT ON! SHARE your video in any of the following ways: on campus (with grade level/other classes, assembly, school website), with friends, family, youth group and/or on social media. If sharing on social media, please add #PonoPassItOn.