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Meaningful events can help offset Furlough Fridays

By Staff | Feb 25, 2010

With Furlough Fridays taking away instructional days in the schools, Pat Endsley sought solutions to provide rich educational experiences for youngsters in grades 3-8 in the Lahaina Complex After School Tutor Project.

She also wanted to include kupuna from the West Maui Senior Center and Lahainaluna High School students who serve as math tutors in the program.

 “Thanks to the Honua Kai Foundation, we will be able to conduct two Furlough Friday events to support our Lahaina tutor project youngsters, their families and our volunteers and tutors,” said Endsley, who founded the outstanding after school program with her husband, Richard.

The upcoming events include an “Intergenerational Day” on March 12 and tour of Lahaina’s historic sites on April 23 (see page 7 for more information).

The March 12 event will provide enrichment activities to add to the rigorous educational curricula students receive in the tutor project.

The third- to eighth-graders will learn about Hawaiian culture; practice songs such as “Hawaii Pono‘i” and “Hawaii Aloha;” play the ukulele; dance the hula, bon dances and line dances; and play mind-challenging games such as chess.

“Seniors from the senior center from all ethnic groups will be able to sit with youngsters to be interviewed about their lives in Lahaina and have youngsters write biographies,” Pat explained. “Some youngsters will prepare healthy snacks and copy recipes, so they can prepare healthy snacks for their families.”

 “Intergenerational Day” will also strengthen the bonds between LHS math tutors and the younger kids and encourage meaningful activities lost in the test score-obsessed, foolish No Child Left Behind Act.

“Tutors will have time to play with their youngsters, which is something we have not had time for due to our strict instructional time, and tutors will be able to

sign up to learn hula, music, crafts… with the youngsters. In addition, the kupuna will experience teaching youngsters skills they have,” Pat said.

Several years ago, with funding, Pat was able to take students on a historical tour of Lahaina.

This year, with a donation, the tutoring program can take seventh- and eighth-graders on a tour to learn about Lahaina’s incredible history.

“It is important for our youngsters to tour Lahaina Town to understand the importance of our town in the history of Hawaii. I wish we will have funding to continue this event annually,” Pat commented.

With the state struggling, it’s great to see the West Maui community step in and support the schools. Volunteers and donations always help.

“Our Lahaina community is unique. Businesses, service groups such as Rotary Clubs, nonprofit organizations such as Beyond the Rainbow and individuals such as our 180 tutors already support our schools. We are so very grateful to live in such a caring and generous community. If others in the community wish to help the schools, I am sure they will be welcomed,” Pat concluded.