Fair raises money for ‘Ele‘ele School

The annual ‘Ele‘ele School Craft and Book Fair raises money for a lot of things: technology, field trips, science projects — even food for a fish farm.

Its vendors and activities also provide a circus-like atmosphere for customers.

“People congregate around the fish and the games,” said Barbara Sayegusa, technology coordinator at the elementary school, which serves 464 pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students.

About 20 vendors have signed up for the fair, bringing a mix of crafts ranging from kimono jackets to baby blankets, jewelry, holiday items and surfer shorts.

Third-grade students host the games, which include roller ball. The money they raise will help pay for materials needed in hands-on science projects, Sayegusa said.

The 26 fifth-grade students will sell food to finance their field trip to Honolulu, where they will visit the state legislature and Pearl Harbor, Sayegusa said.

And the sixth-grade students will sell food and tropical fish, including coy and guppies, Sayegusa said.

The fish are the product of the school’s pond, where students work with officials from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to raise bluegill and catfish.

The money from the sale will be spent to feed the fish, and also for a student banquet, Sayegusa said.

The fair teaches students about raising money for their projects, she said.

“That would be a life-long skill,” she said.

The library sells children’s books, with money going to expand its shelves, she said.

Fees from the vendors, as well as the sale of fruits, vegetables, plants and other donated items go toward school technology purchases, she said.

The school gives students access to desktop computers in kindergarten, graduating them to laptops in the sixth grade, she said.

Grants, donations and other fundraisers pay for the equipment, Sayegusa said, noting the school spent about $20,000 on technology in the past year.

“The state doesn’t have money for computers,” she said.

Last year’s fair raised about $8,000 for the school, including about $1,800 for technology, she said.

People interested in vending can contact the school and contribute $50 for their space, she said. For more information, call 335-2101, ext. 126.

• Charlotte Woolard, business writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 251) or cwoolard@kauaipubco.com.

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