Tsutsui Launches New Hawai’i School Challenge Initiative
By Wendy Osher
Liutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui of Maui today announced his plan to develop a new initiative to enhance the learning experience of intermediate and middle school students in Hawai’i.
The Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge aims to provide a social and educational foundation to enrich the lives students through exposure to a broad base of programs and activities, outside of regular instructional hours.
“The scope of the program will span academic enrichment, arts and culture, and sports and will be designed to help prepare the students for high school, college, the workforce, their communities and beyond,” said Lt. Governor Tsutsui.
According to state officials, efforts to increase or improve school attendance, behavior and coursework have proved key indicators in whether a middle school student will graduate.
“This is a significant time in a young person’s life, and initiatives such as this help our keiki stay in school and succeed,” said Hawai’i State Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
According to state officials, studies indicate that students between the 6th and 8th grades are often left on their own during the hours immediately following the conclusion of school. Studies also show that crimes committed by or against juveniles occur with greater frequency on schools day, roughly between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m., state officials said.
The Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge will offer programs from three general categories—academic enrichment, arts and culture, and sports.
The program will seek to utilize available federal and state funds, while also partnering with the schools, parents and the private sector to provide funding and resources to facilitate the program’s success.