The Hawaii DOE (Department of Education) has stated that it plans to start a middle school athletics program in Hawaii starting in 2012. The three-year pilot program will debut in the 2012 – 2013 school year. It is part of a program that will help encourage at-risk youth to extend their school hours and get more involved.
The program will be available to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders in selected Zones of School Innovation on Oahu and Hawaii island, representing 5 percent of the state’s lowest-performing schools and will be totally funded by donations. About $800,000 will be needed for the three-year period, officials indicated. Formal fundraising will begin next month although some donations have already been pledged.
“We want to provide students the opportunity to engage in activities to extend their learning hours and learn about self-confidence, self-discipline and self-esteem at the same time,” said Keith Amemiya, the BOE member who spearheaded the project. This program looks to build on a theme of offering more sports to more kids in Hawaii.
Sports and Requirements
According to the layout agreement, the sports that will be offered to the middle school students include:
So there should be something for everyone. Requirements to participate in these sports will be at least a 2.0 grade point average and be enrolled in the After-School All-Stars program.
The program will expand over time, with certain schools receiving the program first. Kau High and Pahala Elementary, Keaau Middle, Nanakuli High and Intermediate, Pahoa High and Intermediate and Waianae Intermediate will be the first schools to offer the program to its students.
“We are pleased to offer this new pilot program, which is aimed at benefitting students in these specific, underserved areas,” said Ronn Nozoe, deputy superintendent.
“Research shows these type of extra-curricular activities can make a positive impact with academic, social and emotional development,” Nozoe said.
This is a great step in a good direction for the much maligned Hawaii DOE. Hopefully 2012 and 2013 will bring more good news like this out of the Hawaii public educational system.