"Barefoot, in a building just yards from a shock green taro field and
waterfall-drenched mountain peaks, three adult students huddled behind
computer screens." continues Mid Columbia Tri City Herald.
Seated at makeshift desks at Hale Halawai Ohana O Hanalei, a longtime community and culture center, they settled in to learn how to navigate Microsoft Word, the leading document and word processing software.
"Why do they call it a cursor? Because that's what you do at it all the time," said Chris "Angus" Sweitzer, a Kauai Community College computer literacy professor.
It was the first of a four-session continuing education class. On the syllabus: Pop up windows. Task bars.
Right clicks. And spell check, which Sweitzer explained appears as a squiggly red line beneath the words you type that the computer doesn't recognize.
"That would have a lot of fun with pidgin," said Ui Ito, a fruit farmer from Kilauea.
On the first day of one of the first continuing education classes ever to be taught at Kauai Community College's newest satellite location in Hanalei, Ito announced that she has never taken a formal computer class.
"I just need to familiarize myself with modern technology," she said, adding that proficiency in Microsoft Word will help her manage her fruit business.
KCC's new Hale Halawai partnership allows North Shore residents the opportunity to learn, explore and boost their career skills without having to make the hour-long drive to the main college campus in Lihue.
During a debut course offered last month at the new location, the classroom was full of North Shore residents, including taro farmers, fresh off the field, wearing rubber boots.
There are two opportunities for tuition assistance. Native Hawaiians who meet specific income requirements are eligible for funding through the Hoowaiwai Project. Some classes are also approved for Employment and Training Funds, which gives students a 50 percent tuition break so long as the other half of the tuition cost is paid for by the student's employer.
Kati Conant, who teaches a basic drawing class and is Hale Halawai's executive director, said the program is also seeking private donations to help more people afford tuition. The cost of enrollment is the biggest barrier to increasing class sizes, she said.
Source: Mid Columbia Tri City Herald