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What is Keiki Heroes about?

Keiki Heroes is a community empowerment initiative focused on providing Hawaiʻi’s keiki with positive ways to adopt practices that keep our community healthy and safe. We emphasize that keiki can be heroes by helping to protect those who care for them.

What is the purpose of Keiki Heroes?

The purpose of Keiki Heroes is to empower Hawaiʻi’s keiki and promote healthy habits within our community. The Keiki Heroes program provides parents, teachers and educators with reliable resources to help children navigate the pandemic, develop healthy habits and reduce negative perceptions about those affected.

Who created it?

Keiki Heroes as an initiative was created by Hawaiʻi STEM Community Care, a coalition of local organizations, students and volunteers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) community. Check out the team bios for more information about the team behind Keiki Heroes. The art for Keiki Heroes was created by Yuko Green. Keiki Heroes’ website was created by Gum Design.

Who funds it?

Keiki Heroes is funded by generous community donors, grants and by CARES Act funding through Vibrant Hawai‘i and County of Hawai’i.

Who are Kai and Hōkū?

Kai and Hōkū are two adorable mascots that demonstrate healthy behaviors and encourage their friends to do so as well. The characters have relatable, likeable traits common in Hawai‘i. With this local connection, Keiki Heroes encourage children to emulate their healthy habits and social behavior.

Kai means “sea” and represents where Hawaiians believe life came from. Hōkū means “star” and represents the heavens. Between Kai and Hōkū, they represent the diversity of our community and our connectedness to the ‘āina (“land” or “earth”).

What roles do Ola and Laulima play?

Ola and Laulima are animals who represent different voices in the Kai and Hōkū narrative.

Ola means “health” or “well-being” and is a beloved palila who teaches, advises and instructs the Keiki Heroes on how to behave responsibly and stay healthy.

Laulima is the combination of “lau” meaning “leaf” and “lima” meaning “hands.” Laulima literally means “many hands working together” and speaks to the cooperation and connectedness of each of us doing our part and working together with the whole community. Laulima of Keiki Heroes loves to listen, encourage, play and point out what the keiki are doing well.

Can I get copies of the posters and activity books?

Yes, physical copies of posters and activity books are distributed through schools and community organizations like the Hawaiʻi Public Libraries, Salvation Army, Rotary, West Hawaiʻi Health Center, etc. They are also available upon request to Hawaiʻi island keiki through the website contact form.

Online digital versions are available for free from the shop.

Can I use these materials in my classroom?

Yes! All of Keiki Heroes materials are resources for teachers to use and share widely. All materials can be downloaded in the Shop. Teachers can also download the resources through Teachers Pay Teachers.

Can I use Kai and Hōkū characters in my material?

Maybe but it would depend on the use. We believe it’s important for all the Keiki Heroes characters to stay true to their original design and purpose. Please email for requests to use the characters outside of our downloadable documents.

Who are Keiki Ambassadors?

Keiki Heroes Ambassadors are older keiki (6th – 12th grade) who have the Keiki Heroes “super powers.” They model and teach younger keiki how to exercise their own super powers like washing their hands properly, wearing a mask the right way, respecting the bubble with others, etc. Find out more about the program on the Keiki Heroes Ambassadors page.

What is the Keiki Business Partnership program?

A Keiki Heroes Partner is a business or organization that will be among a group of heroes across Hawaiʻi Island who unite to take the “3P Pledge”:

  • PRACTICE COVID safety and responsibility in their business/organization and community.
  • PROMOTE keiki COVID safety and awareness in their business/organization, with employees and in the community.
  • PROVIDE Keiki Heroes with incentives to motivate keiki to take the Keiki Heroes Pledge and support the Keiki Heroes effort.

Click for more information and to sign up to be a Keiki Heroes Partner.

What is the goal of the Keiki Heroes Business Partners Program?

To create a network of businesses and organizations who share and support the Keiki Heroes mission of encouraging our island keiki (children) to adopt healthy habits.

What is Keiki Heroes?

Keiki Heroes is a Hawaii STEM Community Care project that encourages keiki to adopt healthy habits, to recognize signs and symptoms of illness, and to inform an adult when they are feeling ill. By doing so, keiki can help protect those who care for them and influence others to do the same.

How does being a Business Partner support Keiki Heroes?

  • By taking the 3P Pledge, Business Partners are exemplifying the Keiki Heroes mission in our community.
  • Business Partners have the opportunity to distribute a variety of free resources to employees, vendors and customers to help promote COVID safety and awareness.
  • Business Partners will be able to participate in an incentive program that rewards Keiki Heroes who visit their business or organization. A Keiki Heroes volunteer will work with the business or organization to determine a rewards program that works best for them.

What value does being a Keiki Heroes Business Partner provide to my business or organization?

  • Recognition as part of a network of businesses and organizations who share the Keiki Heroes values of kindness and compassion, encouraging our keiki to become Keiki Heroes.
  • Display your business or organization logo on the Keiki Heroes website.
  • Access to a variety of free resources to share with employees, vendors, customers, and the community.
  • Pride in knowing that your business or organization is an important part of making our island community healthier and safer.

What does it cost to be a Keiki Heroes Business Partner?

  • There is no fee to become a Keiki Heroes Business Partner. If a business or organization is looking for ways to contribute, we welcome financial and in-kind donations.
  • Keiki Heroes is affiliated with a 501c 3 non-profit. Donations may be tax-deductible.

How do I become a Keiki Heroes Business Partner?

Join Us

When you sign up for the Keiki Heroes newsletter, you’ll receive updates from us with new resources and program highlights. We all have an important role in empowering keiki to achieve their best health.

Our Mission

Keiki Heroes promotes health education materials that are culturally relevant and age-appropriate to support the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of children in Hawai‘i. We believe that keiki can be heroes by helping themselves and others to adopt healthy habits to support community health.

Your tax-deductible donation funds Keiki Heroes’ content development and distribution. Email to find out easy ways to donate monetary, time, and talent!

Keiki Heroes

As of 2022, Keiki Heroes became a project under Hawai‘i Public Health Institute.