Hawaii State Senate Education Chair to Host Early Learning Hangout

Honolulu — Hawaii State Senate Committee on Education Chair Jill Tokuda, along with United States Senator Mazie K. Hirono and preschool providers from around the State, will utilize Google+ Hangout on Friday, March 22, 2013 to talk about the newly introduced Providing Resources Early for Kids Act (PRE-K Act) and how Hawaii can best position itself to be a part of future federal investments in state preschool programs. During the live virtual roundtable moderated by Senator Tokuda, participants will be taking questions from the general public live via Twitter, through the hashtag #HIEarlyEd.

Introduced by Senator Hirono earlier this month, the PRE-K Act creates a new federal-state partnership that incentivizes states to both improve the quality of state preschool programs and expand to serve more children in need.  Under this legislation, states like Hawaii could apply for startup funds if they submit a plan to establish a high-quality preschool program within two years.

WHEN: Friday, March 22, 2013

  • 10:00 am-11:00 am: Senator Jill Tokuda to host panel with local preschool providers
  • Approx. 10:30 am- 11:00 am: Senator Mazie K. Hirono to join panel discussion from Washington, D.C. (The United States Senate is currently voting on a number of measures & the Senator will be joining the discussion between votes.)

WHERE: Hawaii State Capitol Room 414
The public can watch the Hangout live via YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/user/sentokuda.


Hawaii’s children deserve the lifelong advantages that equal access to high-quality early education affords. Senator Mazie K. Hirono’s PRE-K Act is fundamental, and would provide states like Hawaii with support as we build a robust early learning system for our youngest of keiki,” said Senator Jill Tokuda. “This topic is top of mind to so many right now, and we recognize the unique opportunity new media presents us with to engage with constituents and connect across the islands and to our nation’s capitol.”

Google+ Hangouts provide users the capability to video chat with multiple individuals at the same time. Google+ Hangouts in concert with other social media vehicles continue to be used by government officials seeking new ways to engage with those they serve. This is Tokuda’s second Google+ Hangout event this legislative session. In February, Tokuda conducted the Senate’s first ever Hangout, dubbed the “Principal Hangout,” in which she sat down with principals from around the State to talk about the Weighted Student Formula.

A proponent for enhancing civic engagement in the policymaking process, Senator Tokuda continues to advance the Senate’s commitment to ending the geographical divide that confronts our island state through the use of technology. As chair of the Senate’s Committee on Education, she is one of two committees piloting the Senate’s new Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Program. She has also conducted several Twitter Town Halls.

Friday’s Early Learning Hangout will take place during this year’s Education Week at the Hawaii State Capitol.