Rain can’t keep Clifford away

KAPA’IA — Clifford didn’t need an umbrella to get to his appointment.

The big red dog that is seen on his own TV show, “Clifford The Big Red Dog” on KHET channel 11, the Hawaii Public Television affiliate of the Public Broadcasting Service, had a whirlwind schedule of appointments before settling in at the “Ready to Learn,” kindergarten-preparation workshop at Wilcox Elementary School.

“Is your name ‘Clifford?'” one of the young preschoolers at the Lihue Hongwanji Preschool queried as she peered out into the morning rains.

“My daddy is going to be Uncle Clifford,” another youngster piped in as they wolfed down their snack of cookies, more anxious to greet their visitor than indulge in their snacks.

When Clifford finally made his appearance, the youngsters that were bold prior to his arrival meekly watched the big red dog make his way through the classroom.

“Do you know where you can see Clifford?” the red dog’s escort asked the students.

No answer.

“On what channel do you see Clifford?” he tried again.

“One! One!” came an answer from the sea of keiki.

Clifford is one of the children’s characters featured on the PBS channel (cable channel 11), and the youngsters had no trouble naming some of Clifford’s family of children shows, including “Arthur,” “Sesame Street” and “Barney.”

“Where’s Emily Elizabeth?” one keiki wanted to know, while another asked, “How do you say ‘roof?'”

Clifford’s escort said it was too rainy for co-star Elizabeth to make the trip, and Clifford was saving his voice for the workshop, so just silently greeted the keiki, allowing them an opportunity to come up and give the red pooch a big hug.

Clifford’s hectic schedule began with an early-morning stop to the Kauai Economic Opportunity, Inc. preschool facility headed by Diane Acoba.

Then, it was a quick visit with keiki at the Lihue Hongwanji Preschool before heading to the Ae Kamali’i Pre-school on Kress Street in Lihu’e.

Clifford’s final stop before the evening workshop was at Wilcox Elementary School.

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