The Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation is a non-profit public charity founded in 2008 by Jack and Kim Johnson to promote positive and lasting change within communities by supporting organizations that focus on environmental, art, and music education.

GRANTEES INCLUDE:

Hoa’ Aina O Makaha (Wai’anae, HI) - Located on a 5 acre farm in Hawai’i, Hoa’Aina O Makaha is an educational program teaching students and families about sustainable living and gardening.

Notes for Notes (Santa Barbara, CA) - Offers free access to musical instruments and instruction, with a fully functioning studio providing opportunities to record music and collaborate with youth throughout the country.

Tangaroa Blue Foundation (Australia) - Coordinates the Australian Marine Debris Initiative, working with students and communities to clean beaches and collect data, with a goal of reducing plastic pollution from the source.

Hawai’i Arts Alliance (Hawai’i) - Hosts the ARTS FIRST STEAM Institute for teachers to provide training and creative ideas for arts + science integrated curriculum.

Kitchen Gardeners International (Scarborough, ME) - Supports small community and school food gardens through the Sow It Forward program, offering mini-grants of cash, seeds, supplies, and resources.

Santa Barbara Symphony (Santa Barbara, CA) - Provides free weekly instruction for violin, viola, cello and bass through the String Workshop.

Algalita Marine Research & Education (Long Beach, CA) - Hosts thePlastic Ocean Pollution Solutions youth summit, enabling students to create their own action projects to reduce plastic pollution.

Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu, HI) - Provides students opportunities to tour museum galleries, as well as participate in hands-on art lessons through the See Art Make Art program.

FoodCorps (national) - Trains and places emerging leaders into schools for a year of service to increase student knowledge, engagement and access to healthy, local food.

Explore Ecology (Santa Barbara, CA) - Offers students hands-on opportunities to learn about healthy watersheds through the Flows to the Ocean program, including a boat trip to Santa Cruz Island.

Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Honolulu, HI) - Produces professional theatre education programs for youth, including the original play GRINDS: The Story of Food in Hawaii.

Community Environmental Council (Santa Barbara, CA) - Installs water refill stations in schools and provides in-depth education about the importance of reducing single-use plastics as part of the Rethink the Drink program.


News

Jack Johnson on Staying Local, Environmentalism and Superstardom

February 17, 2015
BY DAVID THOMPSON 
 
PUBLISHED: February 15, 2015

 
Five-hundred children sit on the cafeteria floor at Kalihi Waena Elementary School, laughing and cheering as a long line of fourth graders bury Jack Johnson’s head in a stack of lei made from reusable classroom materials. They pile so much paper, tinsel and pipe cleaner around Johnson’s neck he can barely see his fingers on the fretboard of his guitar. “I never played with this many leis in my whole life,” he says into the microphone, then launches into a set of cafeteria classics from his soundtrack album for the animated children’s film Curious George.
 
It’s fall, Johnson has just returned to Hawai‘i after his latest world tour, and he’s looking forward to retreating from the craziness of the music industry for a while to spend time doing the everyday things he likes to do when he’s home. These include surfing, volunteering at his kids’ school garden, working in his own garden and making surprise appearances on the cafeteria circuit for the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation, the nonprofit organization he and his wife, Kim, founded in 2003 to promote environmental education.
 
“I love playing cafeterias,” Johnson says later. “Those are the best venues. You can hardly hear yourself play because the kids are so loud. But it’s just good fun, you know?”
 
With more than $20 million in album sales, Johnson breathes the air of rock superstardom. Yet somehow he remains the solidly grounded product of the surf-stoked North Shore beach culture from which he came. He drives a dinged-up minivan, he can’t walk by litter on the beach without picking it up and throwing it away, he surfs every chance he gets, and he usually wears slippers, whether playing onstage before tens of thousands of fans or strumming bar chords for a cafeteria full of grade schoolers. He is in real life exactly as you would expect him to be: easygoing, unassuming and, all things considered, pretty ordinary.
 
“He’s just so not a rock star,” says Kim Johnson, who is pretty down-to-earth herself.
 
Johnson plays “The 3R’s” for the Kalihi Waena kids, and they happily join him in singing the refrain: “Reduce, reuse, recycle!” Although this song appeared on the Curious George soundtrack, Johnson wrote it as the theme for the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation’s 3R’s School Recycling Program, which provides students and teachers with training and bins to promote waste reduction and recycling in schools.