‘Winter Fun’ keeps the kids busy

School starts up Monday.

But that fact did not seem to matter to the more than 60 students who came to the final day of the county’s Winter Fun program at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center.

Site leader Pat Viernes had the students involved in getting their lines straight.

“No ‘Mississippi lines,’” Viernes told the students who broke down into their respective age groups, ranging from 5 years old through middle school.

On the final day of the Winter Fun, Lt. Kaleo Perez of the Kaua‘i Police Department was the special guest speaker who worked with the students in learning to make the right choices in both school as well as at home.

“This collaborative effort is really educational for the students,” Okamoto said during the presentation. “The effort not only helps us, it gives the students some educational value as well.”

Melanie Okamoto of the county’s Parks and Recreation division said the county hosted Winter Fun programs at four sites from Dec. 26 through Jan. 11, the final Friday before school resumes this Monday.

“We had quite a few students,” Viernes said. “When we went to the movies, the theater was pretty much filled.”

Okamoto, who coordinates the program, said there were 75 students registered at the Kalaheo site, 45 at Koloa, 45 at Kapa‘a and more than 90 registered at Lihu‘e.

“We had 90 registered, but on some days, we get about 60 students coming,” Viernes said, noting that the attendance on the last day of the program surprised him because, traditionally, attendance usually falls off toward the end.

Okamoto said the county will be looking at trying to accommodate students during the two-week break during the spring. The program is a collaborative effort between the Parks and Recreation division and other county departments.


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