Young Brothers helps parents and children play

LIHU‘E — Parents and children playing together is part of the positive experience that the Good Beginnings program leaders aim to provide youngsters between birth and 8 years old.

Members of the Play & Learn Group program headed by the Kaua‘i Good Beginnings officials are beneficiaries of a Young Brothers Community Advisory Board grant that will assure that the program continues in various communities around the island.

Anne Peters of the Kaua‘i Good Beginnings office explained that the Play & Learn Group program is a “free program” for parents and children.

Because of this, organization officials usually request donations, or seek funding for program costs, such as training for the staff, or training materials and other supplies.

The Play & Learn Groups provide an interactive environment for young children and their parents or caregivers to play and learn together, she explained. These groups offer parents the opportunity to share ideas and concerns, as well as to learn from each other.

Good Beginnings Keiki Contacts (leaders) are knowledgeable about the health, protection, and developmental needs of children.

They meet weekly with parents and caregivers to answer questions, make referrals to resources, and provide follow up with the participants.

On Kaua‘i, these groups meet Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Koloa Union Church on Po‘ipu Road, and Wednesdays at the Waimea United Church of Christ on Ola Road in Waimea.

Peters expressed appreciation to Young Brothers officials, “who continue to be a supporter for the Good Beginnings work.” In addition to the support from Young Brothers, the Play & Learn Group is presented in partnership by the Good Beginnings Alliance, Kaua‘i Good Beginnings, The Institute For Family Enrichment (TIFFE), as well as many donors from the community, Peters said.

Good Beginnings is a statewide, early-childhood intermediary that brings the best and most up-to-date resources, training, leadership, and coordination to benefit Hawai‘i’s keiki, members of their families, and those in the early-childhood community, Peters said.

Good Beginnings officials work in partnership with families, communities, policy-makers, early-childhood providers, and advocates, to ensure that all of Hawai‘i’s keiki are safe, healthy, and ready to succeed, she added.

Members of the state Legislature passed Act 77 in 1997 to create the Good Beginnings Alliance.

Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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