The Frank De Lima's Student Enrichment Program
The Frank De Lima Student Enrichment Program is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that began in 1985 as a personal commitment from Frank to make a positive difference in the life of every boy and girl in Hawaii. As a successful entertainer with the gift of comedic communication, Frank believed that he could reach the youth. His early presentations involved speaking engagements to elementary school-aged children that shared the importance of education, family, and humor.
Since then, those visitations have increased to annual presentations of approximately 180 elementary and middle/intermediate schools throughout Hawaii. It takes Frank two years to complete the visitation cycle.
The elementary school visitation program comes from the belief that consistency and repetition are learning variables that can help students absorb a simple yet meaningful message: The significance of reading, studying, laughing, and family (3 Bs = Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful). These areas are presented to students in a fun and entertaining manner.
Frank also visits Hawaii's 4th through 8th graders. He discusses the trials of "growing up" and the emotional "diseases" - also known in the Hawaiian Pidgin language as "tidah-itis" and "blalah-itis" - that are commonly associated with this age group.
The 3 Bs are also included with focus on being respectful (Respect for self and Respect for others).
The transition between elementary and middle/intermediate schools is a major emotional and physical leap from childhood to adolescence for all students. It is a sensitive time that can be filled with anxiety and confusion.
As such, Frank - in cooperation with Adult Friends for Youth and the Department of Education - coordinates the Student Transition Convention. It was established to allow this age group the opportunity to enjoy a common experience with peers from other schools and realize that their expectations and emotions are normal. This annual, interactive convention hosts more than 14,000 students statewide. The convention provides a unique orientation/adjustment process within the American education system.
As a follow-up to the convention, Frank visits Hawaii's middle/intermediate schools and shares the following ten guidelines to lead happier and healthier lives:
- Choose your friends wisely
- Find a responsible adult friend to confide in
- Ask for help when you need it
- Respect your uniqueness and the uniqueness of others
- Do your personal best
- Keep healthy in mind, body, and spirit
- Attend school and make it a positive experience
- Choose peaceful solutions
- Dream big and follow your dreams
- Laugh at least twice a day
The Program has received many compliments and positive comments through the years from the general public, including students, teachers, principals, and community leaders. Here's what they had to say - in their own words:
"Even when you were giving us a lecture about respect you managed to put in some spark and make it sound funny, interesting, and educational. You have a certain charisma I'd love to have."
Student, Lehua Elementary School
"Yes, you truly modeled that you did your homework and that made your lesson even stronger. Thank you very much for giving yourself, 'Everyday from August to May!'"
Susan Young and Pamela Honbo
Principal and Vice-Principal, respectively, He`eia School
"Our deepest appreciation for your timely messages about studying, laughter, family, reading, racial tolerance, human respect, and positive attitudes. Our school program attempts to promote the very same ideas and practices."
Head of School, Epiphany School
"While presented in a humorous manner, your message was both serious and relevant: study hard, do your best, choose your friends wisely, prepare well for the future. We were honored to have you here, and I write to let you know of our appreciation for your time and interest as well as your talent."
Headmaster, ASSETS School
"Thank you for your unselfish and continued support in developing the total child. Through laughter, you taught us that life is worthwhile and that we are worthwhile."
Former Principal, Lehua Elementary School
"Thank you for teaching us about school and family. Respect your family by helping your parents with chores at home, and listen to your parents."
Mary Joy Ramelb
Student, Lehua Elementary School
"Your performance is doubly effective: you make us laugh and you also plant the seeds of valuable ideas and beliefs."
Principal, Kanoelani Elementary School
"As a teacher, your messages every year are timely & reinforce important qualities of character that we hardly have time anymore to focus on. You demonstrate to us all - adults & youth - what true power is & what a difference each one of us can make in the lives & spirits of those around us."
Teacher & Parent, Central Intermediate School
Mahalo to the Hawaii State Department of Education and Chevron
The Frank De Lima Student Enrichment Program is successful because of the generosity of our major sponsors, Hawaii State Department of Education and Chevron. Mahalo for your continued support!
Even when you were giving us a lecture about respect you managed to put in some spark and make it sound funny, interesting, and educational. You have a certain charisma Istrong