Maui Fall Sports After-School Pilot Program Launches
A sports after-school pilot program will be kicking off this fall at all eight of Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi’s middle schools. Students will be able to sign up at their respective school’s administration office beginning August 1.
The program, which is called the Fall 2016 R.E.A.C.H. Maui Middle School Athletics Pilot Initiative, is being offered by Leiutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui’s R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Academics, Culture and Health) after-school initiative for middle and intermediate school students.
Students will be able to participate in a basketball program from August to October. A volleyball program will also be offered and will begin in October and will run through December. Each school will have two teams comprised of ten boys and ten girls for each sport.
“I am pleased to be able to bring this exciting opportunity to Maui County’s middle school students,” said Tsutsui. “This sports program will have many positive outcomes, including teaching students about being part of a team and good sportsmanship as well as keeping them engaged and active during the after-school hours.”
“Over the past three years, R.E.A.C.H. has made a positive difference in 25 of our middle schools,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We’re grateful to the Lieutenant Governor and all the partners who have worked to make this program available to more students across the state.”
Maui Waena Intermediate School is one of the schools benefiting from the pilot program. “I’d like to thank Lt. Governor Tsutsui for providing this valuable opportunity for middle school students,” said Jaime Yap, Principal of Maui Waena Intermediate School. “We are excited to be part of this program; and I hope for its success and that it will continue for years to come.”
This pilot program seeks to measure whether an after-school athletics program is viable in Maui County. Maui County’s City Parks and Recreation Department is a partner in the program.
“As Maui County’s population grows so does the need for programs such as these for our keiki,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. “Our children need structure and guidance, especially after school. I would personally like to thank Lt. Governor Tsutsui for bringing this program to Maui and look forward to a possible expansion, so that it may serve other families and communities.”
If successful, the sports program could be expanded. R.E.A.C.H. operates after-school athletics programs for middle school students on Oahu, in Nānākuli and Waiʻanae, as well as on the Big Island, in Kaʻu, Keaʻau and Pāhoa.
R.E.A.C.H.’s mission is to ensure all public school students in grades 6 to 8 receive the academic and community-based support they need to stay on track toward high school graduation, engaging them in a broad-base of programs and activities, outside of regular instructional hours, in the areas of academic enrichment, arts and culture, and athletics. Studies have shown that after-school programs not only keep students safe and engaged in learning, but also help improve their academic performance, school attendance, behavior and health.
This past school year (2015-16), 19 public middle/intermediate schools benefited from the program. Since the initiative was launched in 2013, 25 public middle/intermediate schools from across the State have benefited from R.E.A.C.H funding.