Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Teacher hopes to bring volunteer experience back into classroom

Travelocity's Travel for Good program announced the four grand-prize winners of its "voluntourism" grants contest and one of them is Kailua-Kona resident Tiffany Schivley.

For the past six months, Travelocity has been seeking out inspiring stories of service chosen from a pool of online video submissions. Schivley, a Teach for America Corp. member, who teaches fifth grade at Kealakehe Elementary School, had a few of her students in her video, one saying Schivley wanted to go to Africa not to look at the animals but to really help.

Schivley won a $5,000 volunteer vacation grant to travel to Ho, Ghana, with GlobeAware to volunteer in the local community and at the area orphanage. Schivley hopes to gain a new perspective from volunteering so she can bring the experience back into her classroom. She often discusses privilege of free public education with her students and hopes the stories she returns with from Africa will inspire her students to continue to become advocates for their own education.

Schivley's students are already planning a book and school supplies drive for Schivley to take to the children of Ghana. She leaves Oct. 1 for her trip.

Three students attain semifinalist status

Kyle Y. Matsuda and Justin M. Sandulli, students at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, and Kieran W. Najita, a student at Parker School, are among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

National Merit Scholarship Corp., a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by the organization with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share its goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Open house slated for Tuesday at Kona Pacific

Kona Pacific Public Charter School is accepting applications for kindergarten through seventh grade for school year 2011-12. The school has a couple of openings remaining in its elementary and middle school. Open enrollment will continue through Oct. 15.

Parents are invited to visit the school and tour the classrooms at an open house beginning at 8:10 a.m. Tuesday.

Kona Pacific is a tuition-free public school. Its campus is located above Kona Community Hospital in Kealakekua.

For more information, or to obtain an application, call 322-4900, email info@kppcs.org or visit kppcs.org.

Honokaa school plans open house

Honokaa High and Intermediate School invites parents and students to its open house from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Dinner and entertainment will be provided, as well as a chance to meet the teachers.

Student can earn scholarship to Japan

AFS-USA is offering a scholarship to study in Hiroshima, Japan, for a student attending a high school in Hawaii. The $6,500 scholarship covers one half of the program's fee.

In 1949, Hiroshima was proclaimed a city of peace by the Japanese legislature. In keeping with that mission, the Government of Hiroshima is offering this scholarship opportunity.

Students attending the AFS program in Japan have an opportunity to dive into Japanese culture. They'll live with a host family, attend a local high school and travel to other cities or regions in Japan. Participants return with advanced language skills, a greater understanding of international issues and an expanded social network that spans the globe.

Applicants must live anywhere in the state of Hawaii, and apply for the year program to Japan departing in March. To get started, applicants must submit a preliminary application and brief essay by Sept. 30.

For further details and deadline information about these scholarships to Japan, or those to other destinations, visit afsusa.org/scholarships.

Homework, tutor help offered at Kealakehe

Kealakehe High's Waverider Learning Center is again offering free homework help and supplemental tutorial sessions on campus in the library. Students will need to complete an application and have it signed by their parents. Applications will be available in the center.

The center will be open when school is in session from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students will be required to spend 40 minutes in a tutorial session and 40 minutes in a homework center.

Transportation will be provided for students who spend the entire 90 minutes at the center. There will be a $25 charge per quarter for transportation. If a student has "reduced" lunch status, the fee will be $15 per quarter. If the student has "free" lunch status, there will be no charge. Fees must be paid on or prior to the first day the student attends the Kealakehe Waverider Learning Center for transportation.

All school rules and regulations apply and a copy of Chapter 19 Disciplinary Plan may be obtained from the administration office. Violation of these rules may result in school suspension or dismissal from the center.

For more information, contact Marissa Rosenbloom at 327-4300, ext. 2218, or email marissa_rosenbloom@notes.k12.hi.us.

Students creating pinwheels for peace

In today's world, peace needs to become more than just a word. Today, West Hawaii Explorations Academy students and staff plan to take part in an international art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace by "planting" pinwheels with messages of peace today on the fence in the front of the school.

Students in the high and middle schools will create pinwheels. As part of the creation process, the students will write their thoughts about war and peace, tolerance and living in harmony with others on one side. On the other side, they will draw, paint, collage, etc., to visually express their feelings. The students will assemble these pinwheels and will "plant" their pinwheels in the fence as a public statement and art exhibit.

For more information, visit pinwheelsforpeace.com or call Deb Chinery, history and art teacher at West Hawaii Explorations Academy.

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