Early childhood professionals get their moment

NAWILIWILI — Tuesday was a good day to try out a new umbrella.

Gini Kapali, community relations officer for Kukui‘ula Development Co., had a new umbrella that had a feature to keep it from flipping inside-out in strong winds.

The winds cooperated and Kapali had to help Val Rita figure out how to open the over-sized bumbershoot in the winds that relentlessly blew through the ladies’ hair.

Rita, a facilitator for Makua Keiki, was on hand with Cathy Shanks of PATCH Kaua‘i to accept some contributions from Kukui‘ula for an appreciation dinner for early childhood educators and professionals.

Shanks said the dinner, scheduled for Saturday at the Kaua‘i Community College dining facility, is the second one being coordinated by the School Readiness Committee of the Good Beginnings Alliance.

“Last year was our first one, and we started small,” Shanks said. “This will be our second one and we’re getting anyone who is involved in caring for young children.”

Shanks said there are numerous individuals and agencies in the community who provide for the young children, and in many cases, the efforts of these early childhood professionals go unappreciated.

In addition to having a chance to meet with other early childhood professionals, and exchange ideas, Shanks said this is a good way to provide fellowship for the family of professionals who tend to our young children.

“These could be anyone from preschool teachers to the Easter Seals who work with youngsters,” Shanks said. “The idea is to lay the foundation for Kaua‘i’s future — a blending of the cultures.”

Kapali, who coincided her presentation with a trip to the Kaua‘i Food Bank where Kukui‘ula Development Co. deposited its in-house food collection, said she was happy to be able to offer a little to the efforts of the School Readiness Committee.

In addition to the new umbrella, her presentation included a variety of gift cards as well as an all-weather field case, perfect for a laptop computer, or the many books early childhood educators and professionals tote.

In addition to the premiums, Shanks said Linda Jiles, a life coach from Honolulu, will be doing a motivational presentation centering around the care of young children.

For more information on early childhood programs, call PATCH Kaua‘i at 246-0622.

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

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