Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Keiki hike Kilauea Iki this summer. Camp Google's Nature Week experience connects and encourages children across the country to get outside, explore the great outdoors and keep asking questions. Photo from NPS
THE NEW ONLINE CAMP GOOGLE brings Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park to kids across the country. Many who live thousands of miles from Hawai`i will have the opportunity to explore the park via the online experience. 
      The free, one-hour camp debuted today during Google’s Nature Week at 9 a.m. HST. Camp Google is full of fun science activities and adventures and is geared towards keiki ages 7-10, but, with proper supervision, is open to all ages. Kids don’t have to register or have a Google account to participate.
Superintendent Cindy Orlando interacts with keiki.
 Photo from Pacific Island Parks
      “As the National Park Service and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park step into our next 100 years of caring for America’s special places, the number one goal for our 2016 Centennial is to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.
      The timing for Camp Google is ideal, Orlando said, because the new Every Kid in a Park initiative, which invites all American fourth-graders and their families to visit national parks and public lands for free during the 2015-2016 school year, will soon launch. Camp Google will share Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park with families and kids across the country, potentially inspiring them to visit Hawai`i.
      Google launched its first camp adventure with National Geographic explorers Sylvia Earle and Erika Bergman in mid-July. Kids plunged the Atlantic Ocean via a remotely operated vehicle and watched as filefish, lionfish, corals and other marine life came into view. Last week, kids found out what astronauts eat and helped create new space food with NASA astronaut Don Pettit.
      The Nature Week segment, filmed entirely on location in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, is co-hosted by Park Ranger Rebecca Carvalho, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Don Swanson and Derek Muller, the creative director of Veritasium, a popular online science video channel. Keiki will learn how Hawaiian volcanoes, culture and biology are woven together by visiting Kilauea Overlook, Thurston Lava Tube and Steam Vents and observing Kilauea volcano’s summit eruption at Halema`uma`u Crater.
      Like Ocean Week and Space Week, the Nature Week segment will be available on the Camp Google website, so kids who weren’t able to join in today can participate at another time and earn their Camp Google badge.
      While the camp is free to everyone, some activities require common household items, usually under $5.
      See https://camp.withgoogle.com/.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

KA`U LEARNING ACADEMY IS THE FIRST Ka`u public school to begin classes this year. Executive Director Kathryn Tydacka said that 50 to 60 students reported for the charter school’s inaugural day of instruction.
      KLA is an attempt to try something new when it comes to educating kids, Tom Hutton, executive director of the State Public Charter School Commission, told Colin M. Stewart, of Hawai`i Tribune-Herald.
      Hutton said the school’s plan is to provide more individualized attention for students, allowing students who excel to move ahead and providing more help for those falling behind.
      “Where this concept has really taken root in public education in America has been in special education, where every special ed student has an individualized education program that’s very well thought out and designed,” Hutton told Stewart. “They (KLA) are sort of taking that concept and applying it generally to their whole student population.”
Ka`u Learning Academy students began classes today
at Discovery Harbour Clubhouse. Photo from KLA
      The size of the school, which presently serves third- through sixth-graders, allows its administrators to be more flexible and provide that kind of individualized attention, he said.
      KLA Managing Director Joe Iacuzzo told Stewart that teacher-to-student ratios are manageable.
      “We are holding these children to a high standard that we know they can achieve,” Iacuzzo said. “We’re instituting a new methodology that we’ve called contextual foundation learning, and every child has an individual learning plan or education plan.
      “What we do is we have pull-out classes, where those students who master the standards are then allowed to go into the computer lab with one of our teachers and work at their level. That’s the unique nature of what we do.”
      Hutton told Stewart that community support was significant in the commission’s decision to grant the school a charter.
      “The commission has very significantly raised the bar for approval of a charter school application,” Hutton said. “That’s a national trend. There’s sort of a feeling that authorizers in the past were a little too loose on the front end. That didn’t serve children very well. So, we’re much more careful about the application process from the front end.
      “Theirs (KLA) was a very comprehensively thought out plan. … You have to have a solid plan in all three areas — academia, financial and organization. … You have to have that element of, is this the right team together with the right skill sets … and looking at KLA, that really impressed the evaluation team.”
      See hawaiitribune-herald.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

ALL KA`U PUBLIC SCHOOLS OPEN this week. At Na`alehu Elementary, pre-k through sixth grade starts tomorrow. In Pahala, school begins for students in preschool, kindergarten, seventh and ninth grades on Friday. Grade eight and all other classes in Pahala start school on Monday, Aug. 3.
      Pahala and Na`alehu classes start at 8 a.m.
      Call Pahala public school campus at 928-2088 and Na`alehu at 939-2413.

Ocean View resident Jonithen Jackson stars
in The Land of Eb, debuting tomorrow.
THE LAND OF EB AIRS ON PBS tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Jonithen Jackson, of Ocean View, stars in a fictional account about the Marshallese situation. 
      The film follows Jacob, an immigrant father and grandfather, as he struggles to provide for his large family. Jacob keeps news of a cancer diagnosis to himself, foregoing treatment in favor of working to pay off his property, which he plans to pass down once he’s gone. Sensing his own end, Jacob turns a small video camera on himself and begins to record his story and that of his community.
      See thelandofeb.com and pbshawaii.org for more information.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

OCEAN VIEW RANCHOS SOLAR SUBSTATION, planned by Hawai`i Electric Light Co., is the subject of a steering committee meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Ocean View Community Center. The substation is designed to support solar farms on more than 20 lots in the community.

AUTHOR AND MARINE BIOLOGIST Susan Scott discusses her adventures sailing on her 37-foot sailing vessel to Palmyra and her work there tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village.
      Call 967-8222 for more information.

KA`U RESIDENTS CAN HELP OUT Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and the `aina by cutting invasive Himalayan ginger on park trails Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants are encouraged to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and close-toed shoes. Work is often in the shade of the forest with sounds of native honey creepers like `apapane, `amakihi and `oma`o above to serenade volunteers. Water, snacks, rain gear and sun protection are recommended. This project is open to the public, and no reservations are required. Interested people can stop by Kilauea Visitor Center to get directions and more information. The hike is around a one-mile, moderate round-trip into Kilauea caldera down Halem`auma`u Trail, leaving from Kilauea Visitor Center. The hike involves walking over rough, uneven terrain on a dirt and rock path, with up to a 400-foot elevation change.
      Park entrance fees apply. For more information, call 985-6013.

Partipants learn about People and Land of Kahuku Saturday.
NPS Photo by Julia Espaniola
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK’S Kahuku Unit presents People and Lands of Kahuku Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike loops through varied landscapes to explore the human history of Kahuku. Emerging native forest, pastures, lava fields and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands – from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of the park. Participants learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped and restored this land. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended. 
      Call 985-6011 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_July2015.pdf.

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