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Tutors help students succeed in life

By Staff | Oct 7, 2010

Pat and Richard Endsley founded the Lahaina Complex After School Tutor Project that just began its tenth year.

Add Pat and Richard Endsley to the ever-growing list of positive action heroes for our “Village of Lahaina.”

Ten years ago, the couple founded the Lahaina Complex After School Tutor Project (then known as the Wednesday Tutoring Program) with a handful of volunteer tutors — most of them retirees from the community — to help a skeptical but eager to learn group of youngsters from the Lahaina Complex schools.

Back to the future, and last week the Lahaina tutoring project launched its tenth campaign with 150 tutors from varying sectors of the community — including retired teachers and high school National Honor Society members — to help over 300 bright-eyed students from King Kamehameha III Elementary, Princess Nahienaena Elementary, Lahaina Intermediate and Lahainaluna High School with their reading, history and math studies.

The growing number of participants is indeed impressive, but a more important factor has been the improvement in test scores.

According to Pat, standardized test measures for reading and math have shown marked improvement over the ten years of the program.

“Test scores have gone way up, and this is a testament to all of the volunteers who have participated in the program throughout the years,” she said at the introductory gathering for this year’s tutors a month ago.

This translates into the Lahaina Complex schools making advancements toward meeting the Average Yearly Progress (AYP) levels within the No Child Left Behind Act federal education guidelines.

With the obvious struggles that have characterized the Hawaii Department of Education over the years — low-lighted by bottom national ratings and Furlough Fridays — it is an inspirational highlight to follow the ascension of the tutoring project and its efforts to secure a positive future for our children, for our community and for the world at large.

Leave it to the Endsleys — both retired administrative educators in Berkeley, California — to bring together many retired teachers and organize them into a force of mentors to lead the children of our community in a positive direction.

There is no more vital or noble effort than nurturing the minds of our keiki. Malama pono indeed!

For this, our sincere thank you to Pat and Richard Endsley.

And here is a win-win way to show our community’s gratitude to the Endsleys and the Lahaina Complex After School Tutor Project.

Beyond-the-Rainbow is a local organization that is a primary supporter of the program. They continue to back the effort, but report that due to the economic downturn, many of their financial sources are gone.

Beyond-the-Rainbow has introduced the Macy’s “Shop for a Cause” program to make up the difference. Tutoring project supporters may purchase shopping passes for only $5 each that will deliver discounts of up to 25 percent at Macy’s. Valuable prizes are also involved with participation.

Just in time for Christmas shopping and the holiday season, supporters may buy as many shopping passes as they desire, then shop at the two Maui Macy’s stores or online.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds from pass sales will go to the Lahaina Complex After School Tutor Project.

“It is important for our entire community to come together to support this effort, as our children’s success in life benefits us all. A healthy future for Lahaina as a community depends on it,” Beyond-the-Rainbow noted.

For information, call 665-5815 or go to Beyond-the-Rainbow.org.