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.
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.
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. In 2022, Keiki Heroes became a project under Hawai‘i Public Health Institute.
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”).
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for requests to use the characters outside of our downloadable documents.
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.