COURTESY OF ISLAND SCHOOL
Members of JUMP include, standing: Erik Talvi, left, Chris Marsh (for brother Rory), Kelsey Ritchie, Kelli-Rose Hooser, Paige Blagg, Carly Snyder, Bailey Knopf, Kevin Dhorne, Isabelle Worley; bottom row: Andrew Jones, left, Alec Burney and Juli Blachowiak. Aria Castillo is not pictured.
Might as well jump!
Students leap into media with a project in Kenya
We need to reach out, gather our resources and start to realize that no matter how far apart, we are all interconnected and equally responsible for our fate," said former Island School student Kyle Marsh.
3-1875 Kaumualii Highway
Blue and gold
Thirteen students from Island School on Kauai have taken this message to heart. This July, they will travel to Kenya for a month to collaborate with Kenyan teens on media projects to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic and highlight its impact on the lives of African teens.
The project was conceived by Robin Worley, technology teacher at Island School and a doctoral student in educational technology at Pepperdine University. She felt there was a need for an organization that partnered youth in developed and developing countries, so she started JUMP (Juveniles Use Media Power) to Change the World. Its mission is to give teens a voice and the skills to make media that makes a difference.
The idea been gaining community support. The Kapaa Rotary Club pledged to gather donations of technology and media equipment for the group to leave with their Kenyan partners. Debra Blachowiak and Sleeping Giant-Sotheby's International Realty recently donated $5,000 as official sponsors.
Students have been preparing for the trip by watching documentaries, speaking to people who have traveled and lived in Kenya, and chatting with their Kenyan partners online. But "there is no real way to prepare them for some of the realities that they are going to see," Worley said.
"I hope that they are as excited to learn about us as we are to learn about them," said Aria Castillo, a freshman at Loyola Marymount University who graduated from Island School last year. Castillo sees this trip as a way of expanding her journalism skills.
Each student needs to raise $4,500 to cover costs. Although this is a significant amount, the students were ready to jump into fundraising. Upcoming events include a JUMP-a-thon, sailing with Captain Andy's, a wine-tasting evening and a community yard sale.
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Funds raised at Le Cirque break record at $215,000
They were walking on stilts, swinging through the air and dancing on ribbons hung from the ceiling of the Marriott ballroom on Kauai.
This was the setting of the Island School auction that took place in March. The theme was "Le Cirque." The annual function raises much-needed funds to defray costs for the school's operation and tuition.
While tuition typically covers about 70 percent of the expenses at independent schools, fundraising events must cover the rest.
This year's auction surpassed all others, raising $215,000.
"We raised almost $50,000 more than last year!" said Paige Talvi, volunteer auction chairperson. Talvi has volunteered on the auction committee for five years and has been a co-chair for the past two.
More than 500 guests, among them Gov. Linda Lingle and Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste, enjoyed watching the stilt walkers, trapeze artists and flying dancers throughout the evening.
Putting on the event took 50 volunteers, $65,000 and countless hours of labor.
"We worked on this for about six months," Talvi said.
As usual, Ron Wiley from KONG Radio 93.5 was the emcee of this event.
"A lot of new things were introduced to the auction this year, such as the entertainment, the dessert auction, wine auction and the 'Buy It Now' auction," Talvi said.
Items ranging from a soap gift basket to a vacation at a winery in Napa Valley were auctioned off. The most expensive prizes were a car, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a vacation stay in Haena. The items were all donated.
"We go talk to owners, usually with someone who has a relationship with the school and sees value in independent schools on Kauai and how truly important that is," Talvi said.
The success of this year's auction thrilled faculty members and parents. "It was by far the most entertaining auction," said parent Ernie Blachowiak.
Joan Shaw, assistant head and director of development, agreed: "The annual auction is critical to the fundraising efforts of the school. Without it, tuition costs would soar, and we would be unable to maintain our current level of tuition aid. We are deeply grateful to the volunteers and donors that continue to make the Island School auction such a huge success."
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"What are you most concerned about in the world today?"
"Overpopulation. People are living longer these days. If these rumored nanobots come into play, people may live forever. It's inconsiderate for coming generations."
"So few people care that nothing is going to get done in Africa, even though it is a noble attempt for those who try."
"I'm concerned about people who are homeless and dying because of starvation."
"All the people dying in places of poverty and war."
Carlos Maibeth- Mortimer
"The endless cycle of war."
"I'm worried about what the Bush administration has in store for us next."