Keiki Corners Set Up at Family Court to Support Children and Families

This is one of the children’s keiki corners at the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei. There is one keiki corner on the 2nd floor open to the public and a play area on the 3rd floor dedicated for the children involved in the Zero to Three Court. A third keiki corner is planned to open in the next couple of months.

This is one of the children’s keiki corners at the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei. There is one keiki corner on the 2nd floor open to the public and a play area on the 3rd floor dedicated for the children involved in the Zero to Three Court. A third keiki corner is planned to open in the next couple of months.

The Hawaii State Judiciary partnered with the William S. Richardson School of Law Child Welfare Clinic to set up keiki corners at the Ronald T.Y Moon Judiciary Complex, or Family Court, in Kapolei. These areas are aimed at supporting children and families while waiting for a court proceeding.

Three clinic students, Jacqueline Camit, Jamie Lyn Leonardi, and Grace Baehren, initially created a space for the children participating in the Zero to Three court, so the children have a place to play and interact with their parents and siblings. Because of the outpouring of support and donations from the community, the students were able to plan and create comfortable keiki corners in other areas of the court, where children can read and play with toys donated by the community.

“Courthouses can feel very sterile and intimidating, so this space can make a world of difference to a young child and their family,” said Cheryl Marlow, Deputy Chief Court Administrator. “We would like to thank the Friends of the Library, Friends of Family Specialty Court, University of Hawaii at Manoa Children’s Center, and the many organizations and individuals who donated books and toys to support this endeavor.”

Family Court Chief Judge R. Mark Browning said the partnership between the courts and the UH students has been rewarding and powerful. “This is all about our keiki. It is difficult for any child to sit and wait patiently in a court setting. We hope these areas will provide a place for kids to be kids.”

If you have new or gently used toys or books to donate, please contact Malia Alo at Diana.m.alo@courts.hawaii.gov or Tiffany Ige at tige@hawaii.edu.

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