Young people’s fair’ fills mall with activity

LIHU’E — Jonell Kaohelaulii, the marketing manager for CB Richard Ellis Hawaii, was impressed with the turnout at the annual Parent Child Fair Saturday at Kukui Grove Center.

“This is the first time I’ve been to this event, so I didn’t know what to expect,” Kaohelaulii said.

Throughout the food-court area of the mall, youngsters were occupied with a variety of hands-on activities, while their parents studied some of the offerings from over two dozen vendors who manned exhibits that ringed the tabled area.

“This is for the young people,” said Daniel Hamada, state Department of Education Kaua’i Area Complex super-intendent, as he studied the Girlz Zone exhibit following his opening remarks.

Because it was geared for the “young people,” they were an integral part of the program as well, as young members of the Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko under the direction of Glenna Ueunten got things hopping with their rigorous form of taiko on the stage, while youngsters and their parents explored the many family options being offered.

Kumu hula Maka Herrod of Na Hui O Kamaka O Kalani had his keikihula dancers take the stage garbed in hula dress that patrons could make at their activity station.

Keiki from Punana Leo also took the stage to showcase their talent.

Kaua’i Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste smiled as he watched the youngsters fully involved with their activities.

Leaders in the county’s anti-drug office hosted authors M. Jan Rumi and Dr. Reynold Feldman, who were autographing copies of their “Wising Up” book that was available at the event.

Bev Pang said that non-autographed copies are available at the county’s anti-drug office in the Lihu’e Civic Center Mo’ikeha Building.

She said the book is a wonderful guideline for young people to follow, and makes good reading for both young people as well as their parents.

The county officials were coming off a busy morning schedule, but took the time to be part of the fair.

Baptiste was on hand to welcome walkers at the March of Dimes WalkAmerica event at Lydgate Park before joining Gov. Linda Lingle at the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Anahola-lot-awarding meeting prior to attending the Parent Child Fair.

Cathy Shanks of PATCH (People Attentive To CHildren) was busy tending to her table filled with keiki intently coloring pages.

Maureen Valdez of Hanama’ulu was one of those youngsters, and Shanks pointed out that she was at the table for a long time, having already created a puppet, coloring one page, and working on her second one.

“This is a really good event,” Shanks said.

“Parents need to know what is available for them as far as resources on how to parent, and this is a perfect opportunity for them to find out what is out there. We have the resources, they might as well use them.”

Easter Seals Kaua’i Chapter Director Shayne Tokita had her new Director, Kate Layne, on hand, to familiarize her with members of the community.

The event was coordinated by Bridget Arume, the state DOE Kaua’i district Parent Community Networking Center coordinator.

Members of the Kaua’i STEP (Sequential Transition into Education in the Public Schools) team and the Family Summit Committee jointly worked to offer the annual event.

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