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Lt. Gov. Tsutsui to Lead New Sports Development Initiative

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today appointed Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui to spearhead the state’s Sports Development Initiative, which aims to coordinate efforts throughout Hawaii to build a thriving sports industry.

Shan Appointed

“This initiative will help to expand sports entertainment and participation opportunities in Hawaii, while also strengthening our visitor economy – particularly during the shoulder seasons when visitor arrivals are less robust,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “With Shan at the helm, we hope to take advantage of each island’s unique characteristics and bring athletic events that fit into their individual environments.”

While collaborating with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, University of Hawaii System, Stadium Authority, and private sports organizations, the initiative will identify, promote and engage opportunities to establish Hawaii as a premier sports destination for professional, amateur and youth athletics. The improvement of current facilities and development of world-class, state-of-the-art venues are also part of the initiative, intended to attract sporting events and athletic training opportunities not only on Oahu but throughout the state.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/shxkt_O66f0]

In addition to positive media exposure and awareness, professional sporting events have contributed well over $100 million to the state’s economy each year, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

“With this Sports Development Initiative, we have the opportunity to diversify our visitor industry and generate more revenue for our state,” Lt. Gov. Tsutsui said. “Everyone can benefit from this initiative – from keiki to kupuna. They will be able to either participate in or attend a variety of sporting events.”

“With this Sports Development Initiative, we have the opportunity to diversify our visitor industry and generate more revenue for our state,” Lt. Gov. Tsutsui said. “Everyone can benefit from this initiative – from keiki to kupuna. They will be able to either participate in or attend a variety of sporting events.”

Through this initiative, community involvement and outreach will expand with more mentoring, camps and clinics to develop young athletes using unique concepts, utilizing teams, players and participants. It will also encourage active lifestyles and improve the health of keiki and adults

 

Lieutenant Governor Tsutsui’s New Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge Initiative

At a press conference held at 10:00 a.m. today, Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui announced his plan to develop a new initiative geared towards enhancing the learning experience of intermediate and middle school students throughout the State.

“The Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge will endeavor to provide a comprehensive social and educational foundation that will enrich the lives of intermediate/middle school students throughout the State through exposure to a broad base of programs and activities, outside of regular instructional hours,” said Lt. Governor Tsutsui.  “The scope of the program will span academic enrichment, arts and culture, and sports and will be designed to help prepare the students for high school, college, the workforce, their communities and beyond.”

Lt. Governor Tsutsui at the press Conference

Lt. Governor Tsutsui at the press Conference

Studies indicate that students between the grades of 6th and 8th are often left on their own during the hours immediately following the conclusion of school.  Furthermore, studies also show that crimes committed by or against juveniles occur with greater frequency on schools days and roughly between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Efforts to increase or improve school attendance, behavior and coursework have proved key indicators in whether a middle school student will graduate.  Keeping our keiki engaged in school and positive activities that will enhance their learning experience will help them succeed in school and in life.

“The Hawaii State Department of Education welcomes opportunities to work with community partners to provide enrichment activities for our middle-school students,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii State Department of Education.   “This is a significant time in a young person’s life, and initiatives such as this help our keiki stay in school and succeed.”

Effective and positive after-school programs provide not only an educational benefit to students but also a social value to the overall community by reducing juvenile crime.  The State has long focused on providing after-school programs to our State’s elementary and high school students; however, successful programs for intermediate/middle school students have been sporadic and decentralized.  In October 2012, the Department of Education (DOE) introduced the Intermediate Athletics Pilot program, to be piloted in the Zones of School Innovation (ZSI) in the Nanakuli-Waianae complex, and the Kau-Keaau-Pahoa complex on Hawaii Island.  Through partnership with generous community donors, the DOE introduced several sports for boys and girls last fall to several campuses.  All intermediate school athletes are required to maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) to participate.

While programs like these will make a difference in the lives of our students, because there is currently no comprehensive program to provide intermediate/middle schools with the support and guidance to implement these effective and positive after-school programs statewide, the Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge will work with the organizations currently utilizing successful platforms at the various intermediate/middle schools throughout the State, with the goal of bringing these programs under one umbrella organizational structure.

Board of Education member Keith Amemiya, Washington Middle School All-Stars member Macey Honjiyo, and Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi.

Board of Education member Keith Amemiya, Washington Middle School All-Stars member Macey Honjiyo, and Supt. Kathryn Matayoshi.

Hawaii Intermediate/Middle School Challenge will start immediately after-school and is intended to be a comprehensive and structured statewide program to fill the gap of youth activities available to students between the 6th and 8th grade.  Programs offered will be from three general categories—academic enrichment, arts and culture, and sports.  Currently, the majority of existing intermediate/middle school programs is supported by unpredictable federal funding, a more reliable source of funding would provide greater stability for the programs, as well as greater participation.  Accordingly, using a community based approach the program will seek to utilize available federal and state funds, while also partnering with the schools, parents and the private sector to provide funding and resources to facilitate the program’s success.   The partnership with these stakeholders will ensure that the after-school programs will be well established in their respective communities and will likely be financially viable for the long-term.

Program goals include:
·        Continuing the Department of Education’s vision of utilizing a school-community network approach to engage community-wide support and responsibility for our intermediate/middle school students’ education, health and well-being.
·        Providing students at all intermediate/middle schools within the State, the opportunity to participate in before- or after-school programs that will enrich and encourage student growth in academics, personal responsibility and maturity, creativity and the development of social skills.
·        Reducing the number of student dropouts by providing a seamless transition of after-school programs that promote student participation in school related functions from elementary through high school.
·        Providing health, fitness, educational and social enrichment opportunities to intermediate/middle school students.

50 Schools to Receive Excellence in Wellness Awards

Lt. Gov. Shan S. Tsutsui and the Hawaii Departments of Health (DOH) and Education DOE) together announced the state’s inaugural Excellence in Wellness Awards for Hawaii schools that have reached high levels of achievement in meeting DOE Wellness Guidelines.

DOE Release

Eight windward schools were the first to receive their awards, presented yesterday at the annual Windward District Fitness Meet at Castle High School.  Each school scored 90 percent or above on the state’s Safety and Wellness Survey in school year 2011-12.

“I commend these and other Hawaii schools for taking the important steps toward improving the health and wellness of our keiki,” said Lt. Gov. Tsutsui. “The Wellness Guidelines play a critical role in helping our students to be healthy and ready to learn. By setting standards for food and beverages provided to students, as well as goals for health

and physical education along with activities that promote a healthy environment, we are setting our children on a path to making healthier choices as adults.”

Windward schools honored today were Ahuimanu, Benjamin Parker, Heeia, Kaneohe, Kapunahala, Keolu, Laie, and Blanche Pope Elementary Schools. A total of 50 schools statewide will receive awards at local ceremonies in the coming weeks.

“Schools play an integral role in promoting student health through education, good nutrition, and other school-based activities that lend to achievement and learning,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

Hawaii’s public schools have direct contact with more than 80 percent of the state’s children ages 5-17. By promoting regular physical activity and offering nutritious foods, schools are ideal locations to nourish children’s minds and bodies.”

“The Excellence in Wellness Awards demonstrate the success of DOE-DOH partnership in creating healthy school environments that support student and staff well-being,” said Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “We will continue to work closely with schools to sustain high standards for health education and create healthier learning environments.”

All 50 schools will be eligible to apply for DOH grant funds up to $8,000 per school to support implementation of Wellness Guidelines in school year 2013-14. A total of $160,000 will be available to be divided and awarded between the best qualified applicants. More information about the DOH funding opportunity will be released soon.

The DOE Wellness Guidelines include standards for foods and beverages provided to students, as well as goals for health education, physical education, and other activities that support a healthy school environment. All public (non-charter) schools are expected to comply. The Safety and Wellness Survey (SAWS), an annual online survey jointly administered by the DOH and the DOE to public school principals statewide, is used to monitor implementation of the Guidelines. The Windward District Fitness Meet is an annual event that demonstrates Windward District schools’ commitment to wellness. Through out the school year, students have been preparing for the Fitness Meet in their Physical Education class. Physical Education is an essential component of the DOE Wellness Guidelines and helps students reach the recommended amount of physical activity.

For more information on the Wellness Guidelines, see the HIDOE Wellness Guidelines Toolkit at: http://doe.k12.hi.us/foodservice/toolkit/index.htm