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Five-Year Grant Kicks Off

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Awa Yerhot with a robot the VEX Robotics team built from scratch. Photo by Colleen Uechi.

Students and community members learned and created side-by-side at last week’s Molokai LIVE Family Fair. The event at Molokai High School celebrated the start of the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, which Aka`ula School, Molokai High and Middle Schools received this year.

The five-year grant that covers up to $200,000 each year will allow the schools to offer free courses to students and the community through the Molokai LIVE program, which is short for “Learning, Investing Vigorously Everyday.” The program is meant to enrich overall student learning as well as to engage the community, said Lyn Bonk, after-school coordinator for Molokai Middle School.

“The missing piece has been the parents and community,” said Bonk, adding that she feels some parents tend to step back the higher their child advances in school. “They do that because they feel that they no longer can help the child learn because what is being taught today is so much more advanced than what was taught when they remember being in middle or high [school].”

Molokai LIVE offers a chance to bridge that gap through art, music, cultural and technology classes, from guitar to chess to sewing and upcoming video and kihei making lessons.

Some of these courses were on display at the fair, including the Molokai Art of Tones and Sounds (MATS) rock band, which provided live entertainment along with student slam poets, Hawaiian Immersion students and a community jazz band. Families could also experience interactive learning stations, including remote-controlled demonstrations by VEX Robotics, which is part of Molokai LIVE and is open to Molokai High and Aka`ula students.

MHS junior Kui Han, who played bass with MATS at the event, said the Molokai LIVE classes will help “broaden our thinking” beyond the normal curriculum.

“I think it can help the community come together as one,” said Han. “… We get to learn together and we can teach other what we know. It kinda helps us to know how to be in a college environment, being with other students [of different ages].”

See community calendar or call 567-6950 for available Molokai LIVE classes.

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