LIHUE — The Kukui Grove Center, with the help of nearly 20 community sponsors, will distribute 1,000 bags of school supplies to Kauai school-aged youth starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in its first school supplies giveaway at the Back to School Bash.
“To have a program like this in place is pretty phenomenal because it benefits the entire island, and to see the community come together to help is amazing,” said Parent Community Network Coordinator Judy Cano of the state’s Department of Education office.
The remaining supplies after the 1,000 giveaway bags are packed will be distributed to the PCNC sites around the island, and teachers who need additional materials can check with the PCNC sites.
Stacie Chiba-Miguel, Kukui Grove real estate manager, said students need to register at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to be eligible for the giveaway while supplies last. They also must have their parents with them to be eligible.
“We went through the list of the most needed items from the different school lists to come up with the contents in each bag,” Chiba-Miguel said.
There are 17 different items in each bag, including a spiral notebook, three composition notebooks, a folder, two packs of loose leaf paper, a pack of markers, a pencil case, two highlighters, a pack of pencils, a pack of black pens, a pack of blue pens, a box of crayons, a glue stick, two erasers, and a pack of index cards.
There will also be a community resource fair, live entertainment, a back to school fashion show and a special live performance from the Greenstone Project at the Back to School Bash.
“The amount of support we have received from the sponsors of this event has been overwhelming,” said Wade Lord, Kukui Grove general manager. “The Back to School Bash is a wonderful opportunity to ensure a successful beginning of the school year for Kauai students who might not otherwise have the tools and supplies needed to do so.”
Tuesday, more than four dozen volunteers from the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, ETA Chapter, the Department of Education, and members of Kauai’s credit unions met at the mall to begin organizing and packing the giveaway bags.
“I came because somebody told me someone needed help,” said Patsy Imano. “My grandson goes to Kapaa Middle School and performs with the choir so I came to help.”
Other volunteers included students from the Kapaa Middle School ukulele band with their instructor Mary Lardizabal, and other school teachers, and the staff at the Kukui Grove office.
“The kids need help,” said Stephanie Shinno of the Garden Island Federal Credit Union. “I am so proud we could support Kukui Grove in helping these children go back to school.”