COURTESY OF FARRINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
Farrington freshman Fernando Corrales, far right, stretches alongside teachers and adults in the Kalihi community during the Monday afternoon aerobics class sponsored by In Motion.
In step with fitness
Farrington is hosting a program that promotes physical activity in Kalihi
To solve the growing rate of inactivity and obesity in the community, the city Department of Parks and Recreation and state Department of Education are taking steps with Farrington High School to promote a program called In Motion. In Motion provides and promotes physical activities for adults and students in the Kalihi area.
Farrington High School
Jo Ann Mastin
Dova Rabusa and Bao-Yen Nguyen
1564 N. King St.,
Last spring, Farrington was selected to participate in the program because of its central Kalihi location, said Reid Tamashiro, manager of the In Motion program. Farrington opened its football field, amphitheater, cafeteria and classrooms to various activities like volleyball, salsa and hip-hop dancing for students. A 30-minute walking program and aerobics, which are mainly geared toward the adults in the community, are also available.
Activities are free and take place during lunch and after school. Classes have an average of 20 people per class, with one to two instructors from various colleges and universities.
"In Motion's efforts parallel with the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation team's suggestions to seek more ways to provide opportunities for students who may not like participating in co-curricular activities," said student activities coordinator Theresa Ellis. "In Motion targets students that student government may not be able to reach. I see students participating in that program that I have never seen participate before."
Megan MaGurk, project coordinator, hires instructors and arranges the use of campus facilities. She helps set up nets for volleyball games and is an integral part of the activities.
Sophomore Sina Afe got over her phobia of being in the spotlight when dance instructor Tanya Costales, a Leeward Community College student, worked with her to boost her confidence. Afe started dancing for the In Motion hip-hop dance class toward the end of the 2003-04 school year.
"Everyone gets along and our instructor doesn't pick favorites," Afe said. "We share the spotlight and work together. My parents like that the program keeps me focused and away from trouble after school."
In Motion also encourages students to join organizations and clubs on campus. Members are eligible for free excursions to places such as Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park and Ice Palace if they participate in the walking class held after school.
Depending on its success at Farrington, the program might expand to other schools. The grant lasts until 2006. The city and county and state Legislature will play a part in funding the program if the Department of Parks and Recreation decides to support continuation of the program.
"We're staying positive about the program's future," said MaGurk. "Reid and I will continue to raise the awareness level of the program by finding better means of promoting the activities within the community."
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DDR game gives people something to dance about
If junior Tyler Wakamoto isn't watching anime, he can be found dazzling spectators with his kicks and spins as he dances to "Love Love Shine" on Dance Dance Revolution, or DDR.
DDR was introduced by Konami in 1997. In this video game, players try to dance in time to the music, following cues given by the scrolling arrows on the screen. When the scrolling arrows match up with the stationary arrows at the top of the screen, players must step on the corresponding arrows on the dance pad or controls. A gauge tracks the dancer's accuracy.
There are many songs to dance to and different levels of difficulty. The "Basic" level is for beginners, "Light" is a little harder, "Standard" is the normal mode and "Heavy" is for experts.
DDR can be played on most gaming consoles, on the computer or on an arcade machine. The home versions cost about $44.
Some students love DDR so much that they go to Fun Factory at Kamehameha Shopping Center every day to play. Wakamoto is one of them. "The games call out to me. I can't help it," he said.
Wakamoto plays DDR "for the music, the exercise and the fun," until his wallet is empty. He spends $4 to $5 daily playing in the arcade.
COURTESY FARRINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
Farrington junior Tyler Wakamoto plays Dance Dance Revolution at the Kamehameha Shopping Center in Kalihi.
When playing DDR, Wakamoto feels there are no problems in the world.
"DDR is the time when it's all about fun," Wakamoto said. "No troubles, nothing negative -- all fun. And I have fun when I can find tricks in songs. It's plain and simple: Follow the arrows -- that's all. With so many songs, it never gets old."
Junior Elmar Carillo has no favorite DDR song, but he mixes his own themes to everyday songs heard on the radio, like "Behind These Hazel Eyes" by Kelly Clarkson, and plays them on his laptop.
Carillo plays DDR with modifiers that make the scrolling arrows come irregularly, needing to have the steps memorized.
After his fourth song in challenge mode, "Max 300," Carillo's T-shirt was soaked in sweat. When asked if he was tired, Carillo nodded and said, "Somewhat."
Players up for a friendly challenge can go to monthly tournaments at Fun Factory. The first official DDR Tournament was held on Sept. 23. Admission for tournaments is free, but players paid for their own games ($1 per game). Winners were determined by the machine score. Wakamoto entered the advanced division and won first place.
Samuel Usam, who learned about DDR from Wakamoto, plays "because it's a game where you don't just sit on your butt all day and push buttons. I can't describe how it feels because I get so into the game and it just takes me over."
For its hypnotic neon arrows, its funky techno and trance music, and its unique simplicity, DDR is worth a try.
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"If you could, what would you improve about Farrington?"
"Academics -- to get scores up. No fights or bullying, and positive behavior."
"I'd improve the time schedules, because it would be easier if we finished the same time as other schools."
Johnathan Dela Cruz
"I would make the lunch time longer, because it's not long enough for people who come to get lunch later in the lunch line."
"I want a better field, paint job and fences. Make it look 'pimped.'"
"I would improve the cafeteria food, and the school should add a Jamba Juice bar on the side so more students would come."
"The bathroom services, because there's no napkins, paper towels, usable mirrors and cleaner."
"I would have the school get more air conditioning for the classrooms so it would be cooler and less stressful. Also, I would want the school to have better bathrooms, like the faculty's."
"I would change the attitude to the diverse atmosphere. The attitude needs a little work, because there are still some criticisms based on limited information."
"I would improve security. Also, I would improve on lunches, because sometimes there are leftovers and they are spoiled. I want to improve on student activities so we can have fun."