PUEO Reaching for College

I wanted to share a follow up to my last posting (Students Need the Life Skill of Caring and Speaking Up) which would be more inspirational and promising, and this past weekend I spent some time searching for what is right within our school system versus what is wrong.

I found something within my stack of mail, the school bulletin published by Punahou School. (Fall09 Issue online) An excerpt:

Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program at Punahou School Puts College Within Reach

By Beverly Creamer

“The Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program at Punahou School – PUEO stands for Partnerships in Unlimited Educational Opportunities – was designed as an intensive and continuing hands-on experience to inspire and support more young people to pursue a college education. Launched in 2005, PUEO provides opportunities to public middle and high school students with college aspirations who have financial need. It’s aimed specifically at scholars in the academic middle, in the C to B+ range.

“Before I was in this program, I was afraid to go to college,” admits 14-year-old Ariana Acosta, a sophomore from Hilo High School on the Big Island who has also been inspired to begin writing a novel. “I thought it was going to be hard. But since this program began, I feel more confident in myself. Now it’s my top priority to finish college and get a good job.”

PUEO originally was modeled on other successful summer bridge programs across the country, and today is an active member of a consortium of Private Schools with a Public Purpose. The Punahou program is one of the nation’s largest programs of its kind, with one public school principal, Donna Lum, calling it “a powerful model” for other schools to follow.

“Our students come back excited, invigorated and more committed to taking charge of their own learning,” says Lum, principal at Jarrett Intermediate School in Palolo Valley.”

An online copy of the full article is available with photos, and I encourage you to take a look.

We can do better at this, and like Punahou, many brave individuals are. Let’s continue to share ideas and news of what is working, and see how we can duplicate it.

If you missed the comments of my last posting, I encourage you to take another look: You will learn much more about options in homeschooling and about ‘unschooling’ thanks to the very helpful additions of others in our Ho‘ohana Community.

I will be returning to our more usual leadership and management topics this week, but these discussions about new possibilities, our educational partnerships and community Kuleana (responsibility) remain near and dear to heart for me. You can expect that I will continue to explore what we have recently coined as Sense of Workplace here, this Call To Action will remain easily accessible on the blog sidebar, and I will seek to work with the teaching community further via Teaching with Aloha, where Dean Boyer mentors us so well.