Lt. Gov. unveils program for middle school students

Tsutsui: After school program will be free or low cost

Published  5:02 PM HST Mar 14, 2013
HONOLULU -

There are a few activities Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui wants in a new intermediate and middle school after school program.

"One things in talking to parents, after school administrators and principal is there seems to be a gap in the middle school area," said Lt. Gov. Tsutsui.

The project will be similar to the federally-funded After-School All-Stars program, which is only available in a few schools across the state.

"It's a comprehensive approach looking at academic enrichment.  Looking at culture as well as athletics being the key component of this program," said Tsutsui.

Educators say having an after school program will help keep middle school students productive and out of trouble during some of the most crucial years of their lives.

"Kids are pushing for their independence.  They are willing to take risky behavior because they are not old enough or mature enough to understand the consequences so that's what makes these years dangerous," said Washington Middle School Principal Michael Harano.

The lieutenant governor says funding for the program will be based on a community approach.  He'll look for local sponsorship from local businesses and from the area community.  Some of the money could come from the state.

"We think it's going to be an integral part and that's something I'll be solely responsible for," said Tsutsui.

As for the after school cost to parents?  Tsutsui says it will be free or at a low cost to enroll your keiki.

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