The Department of Education said it will debut a three-year pilot after-school program in middle-school athletics for the 2012-13 school year in an effort to encourage at-risk students to extend their education hours.
The Intermediate Athletics program will be available to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders in selected Zones of School Innovation on Oahu and Hawaii island, representing 5 percent of the state’s lowest-performing schools and will be totally funded by donations.
About $800,000 will be needed for the three-year period, officials indicated. Formal fundraising will begin next month although some donations have already been pledged.
"We want to provide students the opportunity to engage in activities to extend their learning hours and learn about self-confidence, self-discipline and self-esteem at the same time," said Keith Amemiya, the BOE member who spearheaded the project.
Sports offered will include football, basketball, volleyball and soccer for boys and basketball, volleyball and soccer for girls.
Students will be required to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average and be enrolled in the After-School All-Stars program to be eligible to participate.
Schools eligible for the program include Kau High and Pahala Elementary, Keaau Middle, Nanakuli High and Intermediate, Pahoa High and Intermediate and Waianae Intermediate.
"We are pleased to offer this new pilot program, which is aimed at benefitting students in these specific, underserved areas," said Ronn Nozoe, deputy superintendent.
"Research shows these type of extra-curricular activities can make a positive impact with academic, social and emotional development," Nozone said.