Schools urged to apply for Project Grad grants
City officials want public and private high school officials to apply for grants to offset ground transportation costs for alcohol-free graduation parties.
Schools that received or applied for grants to offset transportation costs for Project Graduation events:
» Campbell High School
» Castle High School
» Kahuku High School
» Kailua High School
» Kaiser High School
» Kalaheo High School
» Kapolei High School
» Le Jardin Academy
» Leilehua High School
» McKinley High School
» Mililani High School
» Moanalua High School
» Radford High School
» Roosevelt High School
» Sacred Hearts Academy
» Saint Louis School
» St. Andrew's Priory School
» Waialua High School
» Waipahu High School
So far, 19 high schools -- 15 public and four private -- have received or applied for "Project Graduation" grants for 2007 that offer up to $1,000 in transportation costs for each school, an increase from a maximum of $500 offered in previous years.
During a news conference yesterday, Mayor Mufi Hannemann said this is another example of what the city is doing to curb underage drinking.
The original deadline was May 31, but the city extended the deadline to the end of summer. Officials did not provide an exact date for the new deadline.
"When May and June come around, for high school seniors it's often a time of recognition and reward, but it also can be a time of grief and sorrow. And that is if the jubilation and euphoria over graduating from high school leads to underage drinking," Hannemann said.
Statistics show that teenage drunken driving is responsible for one of every four traffic-related crashes in the nation, he added. "These accidents are the No. 1 killer among 15- to 20-year-olds."
Nineteen high school graduations were to be held on Oahu from yesterday to tomorrow, and four more next week.
The Honolulu Police Department's Asset Forfeiture funds are used to reimburse ground transportation costs for each participating school, said Police Chief Boisse Correa.
Schools that participate in Project Graduation hold all-night parties organized by volunteers and parents of graduates. Money to hold the event is raised through fundraisers and donations.
It is a fun event, said Leila Tamashiro, who volunteered to help raise funds for tonight's Project Graduation event at Roosevelt High School. A total of 275 graduating seniors from Roosevelt High are expected to attend the event, as well as eight graduating seniors from Anuenue School.
Since 1996, HPD has provided $117,000 in grants to 37 schools.
For more information, go to www.honolulupd.org. School officials interested in applying for the Project Graduation grant can call 529-3219.