CRDG Introduces Free Educational App for Early Literacy Skill Development

pihana-cbThe College of Education Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), Literacy and Hawaiian Education Office, announced the release of its first mobile tablet application developed by the Piha Pono project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Native Hawaiian Education Program. The Pihana ABCs app is a free interactive alphabet primer and coloring book, designed to support the development of key early literacy skills.

Like the original paperback rendition, this app is a collaborative product of CRDG, UH Mānoa, and the Office of Curriculum, Instruction & Student Support, Hawaiʻi Department of Education. The paperback version has been widely disseminated and used throughout elementary schools in Hawaiʻi. As a mobile app, the product is more accessible to families and schools, and it offers more engaging and interactive activities for children working independently or with guidance.

CRDG’s Hugh Dunn, principal investigator for Piha Pono, said, “The app is a wonderful educational tool to help children develop foundational early literacy  skills addressed in the Common Core State Standards for English Arts and Literacy. It incorporates concepts about print, phonemic awareness, alphabetic understanding, and vocabulary development.”

Much more than a coloring tool, the app features a new letter on each page with playful alliterative phrases and illustrations that reflect Hawaiʻi’s culture. It is available to the general public for free download onto mobile tablets from iTunes (iOS) at or onto mobile tablets via Google Play (Android) at

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Jennifer Parks
(808) 956-0416