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Pat & Richard Endsley reach 20 years of service with after-school tutoring program

By BY WALTER CHIHARA - | Dec 11, 2020

Pat and Richard Endsley founded the very successful Lahaina Complex After School Tutor Project.

LAHAINA — As a child growing up on the Big Island, she dreamt of a life as a teacher, a principal and a school administrator. She earned a college degree, started teaching and soon became a Berkeley (California) district administrator.

Today, Pat and husband Richard Endsley — who she met while they both worked in Berkeley — reflect on their lifelong careers of altruism within public education here in the islands and on the Mainland.

Most recently, the Endsleys celebrated 20 years of service to the West Side community as the founders and coordinators of the Lahaina Complex After School Tutor Project.

After completing their 32-year career in Berkeley, they moved to Maui and settled into what was supposed to be their retirement home in Wahikuli.

The “retirement” soon ended, however, as public school administrators in Lahaina approached the Endsleys and requested their help.

A need for aid at the local public schools to provide services to enhance the academic performances of underachieving students soon morphed into the project — a free after school program run by trained tutors and volunteer supporters.

The Endsleys began designing the project for implementation and recruitment and training of community volunteers for the project.

They met with the Hawaii Community Foundation to identify nonprofit organizations for funding, and then wrote grant requests to initiate the program.

They also consulted with Lahaina Intermediate School Principal Marsha Nakamura to develop an agreement regarding facility use.

Since 2002, the tutor project has provided grade level language arts and mathematics programs to thousands of students at the four Lahaina public schools — King Kamehameha III and Princess Nahienaena Elementary Schools, Lahaina Intermediate School, and Lahainaluna High School.

Several grants were written, and the program received initial funding from the Bendon Family Foundation. The Maui County mayor and County Council also provided initial funds and two decades of continued funding.

In 2005, Richard organized a non-profit foundation to fund the project. Today, the Lahaina Complex Education Foundation (LCEF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, continues to support the project, ensuring that the mission to offer services and programs that support learning and academic performance is fulfilled.

These grants and the generosity of major sponsors like The Bendon Family Foundation, County of Maui, Beyond the Rainbow Foundation, People for Educational Equality Foundation (PFEE), Rotary Clubs of Lahaina, Tim and Ella Adams, Nancy and Charles Schneider, and Kaunoa Senior Services have perpetuated the goals of the project.

The couple sends sincere aloha and mahalo to all of the staff and volunteers who donated their time and effort in the tutoring project — some for the entire 20-year span.

They also thanked Board of Directors members Barbara Potts, Althea Viernes, Robert Kawahara, Michele Kawahara, Marsha Nakamura, Linda Quinn and Diane Delos Reyes.

For now, the Endsleys hope to settle into retirement within the family community at Wahikuli.

There is some uncertainty about the project’s future due to the pandemic, but they hope to continue to help the schools with funding proposals for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs and other grants.

“‘It takes a village’ is so true in these pandemic times,” Pat said.

“Richard and I have been lucky in life. The past 28 years living in Lahaina made my childhood dream of having a free school to help students and their families came to fruition. To the hundreds of dedicated tutors who provided kindness and worked to build self-confidence in the children, mahalo! To the hundreds of individuals and groups that provided financial and other resources necessary to accomplish our goal, thank you,” she continued. “To the many strangers we met and formed friendships with through the tutor project, thank you for your love and for sharing good times spent together. We have become better individuals thanks to all of you. Mahalo!”