A Little Play, A Little Work

Summer programs for Molokai youth


Summer days don’t have to be boring for the keiki of Molokai. Both parents and students can benefit from a variety of fun and educational programs on the island, such as 21st Century, Alu Like, and PALS.
Whether you’re a teenager looking to make a few bucks, or a five-year-old learning dance, summer programs are available now.

“Even though it is a small island, there is so much to do,” said Karen Deguilmo, recreation specialist for Maui County.


Elementary students on Molokai can get involved in Play and Learn Sessions (PALS), a county-funded program. Parents can register their keiki at the four PALS sites: Maunaloa School, Kualapu`u Recreation Center, Mitchell Pauole Center and Kilohana Recreation Center, June 13-14 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program, which runs from June 13-July 22, will keep kids engaged physically and mentally through arts and crafts, sports, culture lessons, music and dance.

“Even if our economy seems to be bleak, a smile on a child’s face is worth more than a million dollars,” Deguilmo said.

Keiki are on-site from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and breakfast and snacks may be provided – parents will be informed of their site’s activities and calendar at registration. The program’s rates also vary depending on number of children registered, and those that qualify for the free or reduced rate. Parents can find out if they qualify for the discounted rate by providing the state verification form from their child’s regular school. A birth certificate is only needed if the child is 5 years old; if older, no verification is necessary.

For questions, Deguilmo said to call the Maui office at 270-7403.
Alu Like
A nonprofit organization dedicated to Native Hawaiians also wants to help the youth of Molokai spend their summer wisely. Alu Like, Inc. is running a six-week employment program, helping students ages 14-21 especially, but not exclusively, of Native Hawaiian descent to find summer jobs with local businesses.

The program is already full for this summer, but Cammy Napoleon said there is a waiting list if others decide not to participate.

“We want to help youth pursue career goals,” Napoleon said. “If someone wants to work as a secretary, we’ll look for an office position for them and start out at $7.25 minimum.”

Molokai Youth Center

The Youth Center will continue to serve the island’s youth over the summer.  Staff will be putting on  “Mohala Na Pua,” [Blossoming of the Flowers] a program which will entail various trips around Molokai to learn more about their `aina. They will also learn through other educational activities.

“It’s a free program and the youth will be kept busy by learning about themselves and the Hawaiian culture,” said Kata Lee, Youth Center activities coordinator.

Activities will include education on health skills, drug and alcohol prevention and character leadership. Activities will teach about Hawaiian and Native American culture. There will also be weekly field trips to Molokai’s moku and beach days.

“If they just want to have a summer vacation of fun and educational activities, then this would be the place,” said Shanna Willing, Youth Center director.

The program is open for ages five through 18 and began on May 30. Interested participants can still sign up.

21st Century Programs

Elementary students at Maunaloa School, Kaunakakai Elementary and Kilohana Elementary schools will have the opportunity to learn a variety of arts and skills, including violin, acting and planting a garden this summer, through 21st Century enrichment programs. Adults will also be able to take part in the violin classes.

Each school’s program will be unique. Kilohana will offer horticulture, arts and crafts, kenpo karate, computer lab, and violin. Kilohana principal Richard Stevens said that the program is open to the whole community’s children, including Hawaiian immersion students.

Kaunakakai’s campus will host drama class, arts and crafts and most importantly, reading and math, said Joshua Adachi, activities coordinator at Kaunakakai Elementary.

“We don’t want the students to fall out of touch [with academics over the summer]” he said.

Maunaloa will offer the same programs as Kaunakakai.  21st Century’s programs will run from June 6-30, 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Check back for future coverage of summer programs in the


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