Building a bridge

Part of the Ikena Ka Malamalama 2003 program students work to finish off a bridge the class is building to link the upper and lower portions of the loi at the Kauai Community College campus.

Another portion of the 15-student class worked off-site in one of the KCC shops under the direction of Masami Kouchi, cutting and finishing the stairway portion that will link the lower portion of the bridge project that was started on Tuesday.

According to one of the instructors in the program, students for this program are recent high school graduates, college-aged students, students returning to college, and this year, also includes four educational assistants from the Department of Education who work on Niihau.

The instructor said the program which targets Hawaiian students, provides an opportunity for students to combine various skills while learning about the Hawaiian culture, building a spirit of teamwork while developing Hawaiian values while being in touch with themselves.

Meeting five days a week since June 30, the class convenes from 8 a.m. centering around the KCC campus, and will run until July 25. Some of the projects lined up include hosting a hukilau at Hanamaulu Beach, working on the Kauai sailing canoe, as well as doing a service project for one of the canoe clubs in Nawiliwili.

A highlight of the summer program will be a two-day trip to Oahu where students will visit the Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, and the state Archives with additional trips planned to visit four-year colleges as well as some of the community colleges offering specialized vocational training. Summer Helms, one of the lead coordinators of the program, said the idea is to expose the students to as many options as is feasible so they can better plan their lives.

Helms said students come from all parts of the island, and she has noticed how they have all gotten together to work as a team as well as support each other.

Ikena Ka Malamalama is a joint effort between the vocational education programs at KCC, the Title 3 program, the Provost’s Office, Na Pua No eau, Hawaiian Studies, and the Native Hawaiian Community Based Program.

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