MICROSOFT NOW POWERS HAWAII LIBRARIES
Hawaii’s public libraries score big with the Microsoft IT Academy. In November the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) set up the world’s first Microsoft IT Academy program, which is now available statewide. The Microsoft IT Academy provides unlimited e-learning access to Hawaii’s library card holders. More than 350 Microsoft courses will be available from basic computer skills to advanced network architecture and design. Certification preparation courses and official Microsoft course materials will help users acquire and qualify for industry-recognized Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Technology Associate or Microsoft Certified Professional certifications.
The HSPLS has implemented many tech projects over the last three years, including some sponsored by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the federal Broadband Technology Opportunity Program, said State Librarian Richard Burns. “In addition, we have purchased and placed in our libraries more than 1,300 new computers, peripherals and software, including ADA-accessible workstations in every one of our libraries,” he added. “Many of these projects involved working with Microsoft, and they saw that we have been very successful with these projects and they came to view HSPLS as a promising partner for this Academy.”
The entire package is valued at more than $2.5 million but was discounted for HSPLS to just $70,000. The Microsoft IT Academy should reach about one million users across the state of Hawaii, and it’s the first program launched under the HSPLS HI Tech Academy initiative.
“The Microsoft IT Academy program includes training and certification in Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint, in addition to advanced subjects such as programming, web development and database development,” said Craig Mundie, Microsoft Chief Officer for Research and Strategy. “The program’s digital literacy resources will equip Hawaii’s library patrons with the technical skills needed to become more employable and successful in the 21st century workplace.”
With vocational and adult education resources reduced due to budget cuts, state officials hope this new program can help. A card-holding patron can visit the library or the state libraries website and get a code to access the program. The academy is web-based and accessible from anywhere in the world. You can also work at your own pace. You can work on the programs on any web connected device, provided you use Internet Explorer.
“IT certifications are increasingly recognized as valuable credentials that give young people expanded career opportunities,” said Donald Horner, Chairman of the Hawaii State Board of Education. “The Microsoft IT Academy ensures patrons equal access to IT training and certification through all libraries across the state regardless of location or economic status.”
BASKETBALL MAUI PLAYS WITH SHANE VICTORINO
Basketball Maui hosted their second annual Holiday Hoops clinic with 120 players receiving instruction from 25 coaches at Lahainaluna High School Athletic Department. “It was almost an even split between boys and girls aged seven to 17 years old,” said Basketball Maui Executive Director Ben Prangnell.
Renowned coaches Ben Howland of UCLA, NBC Camps founder and president Fred Crowell and former UCLA coach Jim Harrick, as well as Maui’s own Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies and his wife Leslie (who played basketball at UNLV) participated in Holiday Hoops.
“With the addition of Shane it doesn’t get much better,” Dan Williams, the event spokesman, said. “It is wonderful to see one of our own give back to the programs he grew up with.” Victorino played multiple sports including basketball during his high school years on the island. The event provides an evening of free enrichment for local young players, and offers parents in attendance a chance to talk with coaches, too.”
Basketball Maui is a nonprofit organization that started in April 2010 with a summer camp event. Later they added school assemblies, a leadership tour to Washington State with 18 high school students and a charity basketball game called “Night of Shooting Stars.”
The next free event for Basketball Maui is Hoops of Hope on Jan. 28 at Hope Chapel in Kihei. They will have food, music and entertainment along with a clinic and show by Guinness book record-holder and NBA All-Star game performer Joe Odhiambo, an expert at ball spinning, dribbling and tricks. All proceeds will go to the Kit Lauer Memorial Scholarship, which allow kids the opportunity to participate in the camps, clinics and events hosted by Basketball Maui.
Parents and students interested in camps or other activities can go to their website http://basketballmaui.com for more information or call director Wayne Seaman at 1-800-520-1709 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Royal Lahaina Resort is now taking enrollment for their new Junior Tennis Program. The Ka’anapali property is home to the Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch, which is managed by John and Cynthia Monnier. After working with numerous keiki on an individual basis, the resort saw a need in the community for tennis training for ages seven through high school and decided to establish a junior program to encourage kids to take up the sport.
“Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch is home to 11 world class tennis courts, a phenomenal coaching staff and the ability to offer this wonderful opportunity to our community at an affordable price,” said Liz Bell, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Royal Lahaina Resort. “A resurgence in the sport of tennis on a national level combined with numerous inquiries from parents and players inspired the Royal Lahaina and the Tennis Ranch to create a junior program. One we hope will grow to serve the community for years to come.”
Lahaina’s own Jean Okada–high school state champion, University of California, Santa Barbara Hall of Famer, top 20 collegiate player and three-time US Open competitor–will be coaching. Kaz Yamanoha, the HI Performance Tennis Director at Royal Lahaina, will also coach since he has 25 years of professional teaching experience, trained with John Newcombe and Peter Burwash and is a Fijian National Open Doubles Champion.
Lessons start at $80 a month for two days a week, $105/mo for three days a week and $125/mo for 5 days a week. The daily drop in rate is $12. Call 667-5200 for more information.