The Success Of After-school Clubs

One of the things I love about Hawaii is the kindness and compassion that exude from people who live here, even in Honolulu where I grew up. Rarely do I face unkind moments between fellow human beings, so it takes me completely by surprise when I do.

The most important thing I aspire to is feeling compassion for others, even if they are unkind to me, and try not to take it personally. That’s a difficult task, but I think in the end it’s the most beneficial, and the only way we can ever hope to achieve peace not only within ourselves, but with one another …

One of the best ways to learn compassion for others is by volunteering and donating time to their betterment. Ric Cox, Rotary Youth Services chairman, knows a thing or two about that. The founder of Adopt-a-Classroom, a program developed through Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, recently told me that Kilauea Elementary School students are participating in more than 20 free after-school clubs on the recommendation of principal Sherry Gonsalves. The clubs match students with adult mentors and offer subjects including art, dance, music drama and Scouting. Of the school’s 300 students, 70 percent have participated in at least one club. Because of the program’s overwhelming success, Koloa PTA is launching five clubs for more than 100 students, Hanalei Elementary PTSA is launching a new club and Kanuikapono Charter School will add another, as well …

If you haven’t visited Grand Hyatt Resort & Spa lately, then you may not know about its recent renovation. The poolside restaurant, a new sushi bar at Stevenson’s Library, a takeout spot at Poipu Bay Clubhouse and a “modernized” buffet at Ilima Terrace are now complete at the refreshed resort. One of my favorite spots is Stevenson’s Library, where the back room was redesigned to add in a 20-foot sushi bar that seats eight. There also is a space created for the return of musical entertainment, featuring jazz, classics and contemporary Hawaiian music to accompany sushi and cocktails in the lounge. Visit grandhyattkauai.com for more information …

Last month, Aloha Petroleum Ltd. donated $1,000 to Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project.

The money was used for its Birds, not Rats! campaign to protect the island’s native forest birds. The campaign, which recently ended, was declared a success overall …

Kauai Writers Conference, slated for May, has created a scholarship program for high school juniors and seniors, as well as Kauai Community College students. The scholarships are made possible by Joseph Figaroa Foundation and Rotary Club of Kapaa, and will allow three students to participate in the conference. Visit writersconference.com for more information or email info@kauaiwritersconference.com …

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