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Molokai Selected for Middle School Enrichment Program

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui News Release

Molokai Middle School is among 14 middle and intermediate schools around the state selected to participate in the R.E.A.C.H. (Resources for Enrichment, Arts, Culture and Health) Initiative for the 2015-2016 school year.

R.E.A.C.H.’s mission is to ensure all public school students in grades six to eight receive the academic and community-based support they need to stay on track toward high school graduation by 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.

The initiative, spearheaded by Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui in collaboration with state Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, provides an organizational framework for public middle and intermediate schools to offer students expanded learning opportunities during after-school hours.

“The investment we make in the education of our youth, whether it’s during school or after-school will have insurmountable returns for our keiki’s future and our community,” said Tsutsui.  “If we are able to reach our middle and intermediate school students through engaging and enriching activities, especially during this critical time in their lives, the academic and social benefits will be exceptional.”

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.

“R.E.A.C.H. provides a positive option for our students to remain engaged when class is out for the day,” said Matayoshi. “We appreciate the support and commitment by partners who understand the value that R.E.A.C.H. brings to our schools.”

Selection of the schools was based on a criteria, which included:  strong student interest and/or participation for the after-school program and established relationships with key stakeholders.

The applications were also evaluated on its readiness to achieve the goals and student outcomes set forth by the initiative. Some schools apply for the grant every year and are selected based on the criteria.  This year, nine of the 14 schools are returning R.E.A.C.H. participants.  There were 29 applicants for this year’s program.  The maximum grant a school received was $70,000.

Since the initiative was launched in 2013, 21 public middle/intermediate schools (including this year) from across the State have benefited from R.E.A.C.H.

Some of the funds provided to the schools were made possible through public-private partnerships with Debartolo Development and Hawaii Business Magazine.

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