Big Island Offers ‘Stellar’ After-School Programs

September 7, 2019, 8:28 AM HST (Updated September 7, 2019, 8:28 AM)
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After-School All-Stars youth participate in learning traditional Japanese taiko drumming. Courtesy photo

With back-to-school well underway, parents of new middle or intermediate school students may be wondering where their kids can go at the end of the day. Families in Ka‘ū, Kea‘au and Pāhoa are in luck; After-School All-Stars (ASAS) are located on each district’s middle school campus.

The ASAS programs fight against high school drop-out rates and childhood obesity by keeping the youth engaged in supportive academics and diverse sports programs. Better yet, their programs are free, operate every day the schools are open, and offer a safe and supervised space for the middle school children to explore their fullest potential.

ASAS has a unique advantage by operating on school grounds—the leading staff correspond with the principals and faculty of each school to identify every student’s needs, and mold their programs to build off of what is being taught daily at the schools. The three main program focuses of ASAS are academics, enrichment, and health and fitness.

After-School All-Stars enjoy their service learning projects. Courtesy photo

ASAS offers a unique program approach that intends to mimic college block schedules. Each quarter, students are able to sign up to join ASAS and get to create their own course schedule by choosing from a range of options.

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First and foremost, homework is always completed during the first hour of programs. Then students get to choose between classes, such as verifiable sports coaching in volleyball and cross country,  painting classes while sipping on crisp apple cider, ninja warrior fun with obstacles to test their strength, singing and playing instruments, or even take cooking, baking, and juicing classes.

Traditional Native Hawaiian learning is also available, including ʻōlelo Hawai‘i and weaving. Unique courses offered in the Kea‘au Middle School ASAS program range from learning Chinese calligraphy and leadership training to learning about the sustainable science behind edible utensils.

All locations offer fun and engaging STEM projects, such as creating art with various materials and testing chemical reactions.

ASAS goes above and beyond keeping youth engaged, as they also hold weekend trips and service learning events.

Every year, a select group of ASAS students are chosen to either fly to O‘ahu or the mainland for Leadership University, a large-scale leadership training course. Upon returning to their community, these students begin to apply their new skill set by organizing and executing a service learning project.

All Big Island After-School All-Stars Ka‘ū Color Run. Courtesy photo

For the 2019-20 school year, ASAS will host the Leadership University on O‘ahu to enable at least a dozen Big Island students to attend. In April of 2020, ASAS will also host a large career fair for anyone who would like to attend.

Needless to say, After-School All-Stars has a true passion to helping their local youth achieve greatness in their young lives. The ASAS team calls their comprehensive courses “We Are Ready,” as one of their main objectives is to help the youth be prepared for their transition into high school and college.

With programs being exclusive to grades 6 through 8, ASAS services over 530 youth on the Big Island with three locations. On a yearly basis, the Kea‘au location serves up to 330 youth, Pāhoa sees over 140, and Ka‘ū has 60 youth enrolled. The specific ASAS locations are Pāhoa Intermediate and High, Ka‘u Elementary and Intermediate, and Kea‘au Middle School. All location hours are from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

For more information on After-School All-Stars, visit ASASHawaii.org, call (808) 734-1314 or email [email protected].

Donations are also accepted to help future All-Stars.

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