Kama‘aina Kids, UHA Health Pilot Aloha Journal Project, With a Jan. 24 Launch to Nearly 250 Students at A+ After-School Programs in Five Public Elementaries
Today, 240 students in five A+ programs on O‘ahu and Maui will launch the Aloha Journal program, sponsored by UHA Health Insurance and Kama‘aina Kids.
The third-, fourth- and fifth-graders attend after-school programs at Keone‘ula Elementary (‘Ewa Beach), Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary, Pearl Harbor Elementary, Hokulani Elementary (Mānoa), and Wailuku Elementary on Maui.
Kama‘aina Kids and UHA Health Insurance are piloting the program in the hope of expanding it significantly in future months.
“We serve nearly 9,700 children and families everyday at more than 100 different locations on four islands, so we are excited about the potential of this pilot and the tremendous impact the Aloha Journal program can have on our keiki and their loved ones,” says Mark Nishiyama, co-founder of Kama‘aina Kids.
The Aloha Journal project, founded by Hawai‘i Health at Work wellness partner Danny Kim, promotes reflection to develop appreciation and a deeper sense of purpose through writing. Journaling helps keiki strengthen their writing skills, but also encourages them to build relationships by helping them develop a gratitude practice. It provides the opportunity for self-reflection and encourages resiliency through the principles of aloha. In the digital age of computers, cell phones, and social media, journaling also allows students to practice being present and in the moment.
“Research has shown that journaling helps decrease our levels of stress, which improves our overall health,” explains Howard Lee, president and chief executive officer of UHA Health. “As many studies indicate that students today are experiencing greater levels of loneliness and anxiety than in past generations, we are grateful to join Kama‘aina Kids and pilot the Aloha Journal program in these five local schools.”
For more information on the Aloha Journal Project, visit thealohalivingproject.com.
Educators interested in participating are invited to contact Nishiyama at [email protected].
About UHA Health Insurance (University Health Alliance)
UHA provides medical, drug and vision plans to nearly 4,500 Hawai‘i employer groups and approximately 59,000 members. As the only health plan in Hawai‘i founded by physicians, it was the first to offer preventive and wellness care-focused health plans in the state. It continues to be physician-led and now offers the largest physician network in Hawai‘i. By meeting strict quality standards to ensure clinically sound decision-making that respects the rights of patients and medical providers, UHA received accreditation in Health Utilization Management through URAC, the independent non-profit that promotes healthcare quality.