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Student work on Ko‘ie‘ie Fishpond

The Maui News MATTHEW THAYER photos

FIRST PHOTO: Students from GEAR UP work on the rock wall of the Ko’ie’ie Fishpond in Kihei Wednesday morning. GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs and is designed to increase the postsecondary expectations and readiness of students, improve high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates and raise the knowledge of postsecondary options, preparation and financing among lower-income students and families. Maui GEAR UP navigator Lehua Kaopio said the four-week program focuses on place-based learning and features more than 800 students on Maui. “We try to make things fun,” Kaopio said. “We’re here to drive them to something bigger. We tutor them, we advise them, we do the whole spectrum.”

SECOND PHOTO: Ao’ao O Na Loko I’a O Maui Executive Director Joylynn Paman (right, in blue) works with students at the fishpond Wednesday. “It’s nice having the next generation come and understand the value of preserving the fishpond,” Paman said. She said the organization is always ready to welcome volunteers and groups willing to pitch in. To learn more, visit mauifishpond.org.

THIRD PHOTO: Fishpond volunteer Vicente Rubio talks to students Wednesday

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