Wahine shouldn’t
let NCAA chill their spirit


The UH volleyball team will travel to Fort Collins, Colo., for the first round of championship matches.

BESTING difficulties has become the hallmark of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine this year. Coach Dave Shoji and crew will have to stoke that burning spirit as the NCAA sends the only unbeaten volleyball team in the country to the glacial environment of Colorado for its first-round championship match.

The NCAA selection committee's ungracious decision will deprive Hawaii fans -- whose attendance has led the sport's national registers for 10 straight years and who have made UH's one of just a handful of profitable volleyball programs in the country -- of cheering on their first-class student athletes.

In shipping off the Wahine to Fort Collins, the NCAA blithely disregards the team's record and lends credence to speculation that it is more interested in serving the desires of committee insiders and posting pushover lineups for host teams at regional sites.

It doesn't seem to matter that UH had guaranteed travel expenses for teams to travel to the islands and that the likely sellout crowds here would boost profits for the NCAA.

The NCAA contends that geographic considerations determine who plays where and that it tries to limit travel to 400 miles or one or two time zones but cannot possibly do that for Hawaii. Still, it is sending sixth-seeded Stanford to Florida and fourth-seeded Minnesota to Connecticut for their first games while South Carolina's College of Charleston heads west to Los Angeles and UC-Santa Barbara flies east to Georgia.

The Wahine, who just returned home Thursday from a six-day road trip, will have to pack their bags again, and if they win their two Rocky Mountain-high games there, they will go to Wisconsin for the regionals, then back across the country to the West Coast if they make the finals. Not exactly limited travel.

Shoji is understandably disappointed that the Wahine won't get a chance to play in front of Hawaii's loyal fans again. But he and his team have been fired up by the letdown. Said setter Kanoe Kamana'o, "This gives us motivation to go up and play hard."


Parents are key to
Read Aloud Program


The program at public schools has attracted hundreds of adults and children.

A READING program that is proving effective in capturing the interest of children reinforces the importance of parental guidance and participation in learning. It also emphasizes that removing television as a daily distraction can help children acquire better reading skills.

The Read Aloud Program is attracting hundreds of people across the state. Such large numbers -- 768 at Waipahu Elementary, for example -- are clear indications that more parents are recognizing the value of reading to their children.

Jed Gaines, who began RAP, says young children grasp and understand spoken words at a higher level than they can manage to read. Parents who doubt this need only listen to their kids reciting the slogans and claims from the commercials they hear on television or the plots of the cartoon programs they watch.

RAP involves some simple rules, such as reading books and stories interesting to youngsters, not turning them into lessons, but talking to children about the material and setting aside time for reading.

The last might be the most difficult. Gaines advises that the hours when the television is blaring be reduced four days a week, from Mondays through Thursdays. This is also difficult because adults often turn on the tube to keep children occupied while they take care of home matters.

The program and Gaines' presentation have been making their way through several public schools and have drawn strong enthusiasm. Grants and donations have covered the $27,000-per-semester cost, but the Department of Education and the state Legislature should consider funding it or joining with private sponsors to expand it.




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