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Community rallies to sustain universal access to education during the pandemic


Jody Shiroma
PBS Hawaiʻi

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December 15, 2020

Community rallies to sustain universal access to education during the pandemic

 #PBSHAWAIIneighbor challenge surpasses goal by more than $16,000

(HONOLULU, HI) – During a time of great financial need in the Islands, PBS Hawaiʻi surpassed its fundraising goal for its one-month #PBSHAWAIIneighbor challenge.

Thanks to the public and gifts of $5,000 from the Marcus Mariota Motiv8 Foundation, a $5,000 match from First Hawaiian Bank, a $5,000 donation from HEI and $10,000 from a donor who does not wish to be identified, the locally owned, statewide television station overshot its goal of $30,000, for a total of $46,750.

Funds raised will be used to continue to support thousands of students in under-resourced areas across the Islands, so they may take part in distance learning. The organization makes available a vast free online archive, PBS LearningMedia, with separate, easy-to-use tracks for teachers, parents and students from Pre-K to Grade 12, containing video lessons and activity plans. It is also the home of HIKI NO: Hawai`i’s New Wave of Storytellers, a 90-school digital learning program that continues, robust and uninterrupted during the pandemic. And the station operates a separate educational channel, PBS KIDS 24/7, on air and online.

The #PBSHAWAIIneighbor challenge represented a pivot for the station as it shifted a portion of its fundraising strategy to online donations through The first of its kind, this campaign was made possible through an agreement with Fred Rogers Productions and his iconic song, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” The song was localized by Hawaiʻi musicians and the public, who sent in more than 38 cellphone videos in varying performance styles.