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Waimanalo needs a place that can expose young adults to constructive pastimes, like music or art, and technical, vocational skills in computers, commercial graphics or photography, and even video or music production. A place with a different attitude from the shopping malls and arcades. A place to do homework, listen to music, or perhaps just talk story. Best of all, a place to learn something new. This is exactly what is proposed by the TRAC organizers.
TRAC stands for Technology, Recreation, and Art Center. In the current proposal, this encompasses: computers, graphics, photography, video production and music production.
These proposed activities may sound high-tech, like they might belong in a technical or trade college. But that is simply not the case. Technology is an inescapable facet of our modern lives, and our children should be adjusted to that fact well before they must enter the work force. The truth is, the natural curiosity and intellectual openness enjoyed by young people grants them a distinct advantage over many adults. Young people are not afraid of technology. They are not afraid to learn.
The TRAC's computers are friendly and easy to use, but they contain powerful programs, for writing, graphics, and publishing, and educational programs, for improving mathematical, organizational, and communication skills. The participants will learn and implement computer programming and CAD (Computer Aided Design) by designing and programming their own video games. A link to the Internet, the global computer network, is planned, so their products can be shared with the rest of the technological community.
The new center will also contain video equipment: televisions, VCRs, and editing equipment. There will be exciting musical instruments, like keyboards, guitars, electronic drums, and a traditional rock-n-roll drumset, and recording equipment capable of producing professional records or CDs. All this also works as a terrific jukebox for listening to tapes and CDs. Much of this exciting hardware is already donated, or on loan from the owner. Both planned lessons and unstructured, exploratory freetime will be organized.
The idea of a supervised recreational activity center is not a new one. Volunteer organized Rec centers like the one proposed are in successful operation across the mainland, and are starting to appear in Hawaii. A successful operation in Ewa, using bicycles as a main attraction, was recently featured in the "Island Life" section of the Honolulu Advertiser.
These communities have taken some responsibility for their youth. Waimanalo should certainly follow their example.
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