Raising the next generation, together

KOLOA – Rotary Club of Poipu Beach and key partners are making an impact this year at Koloa Elementary School.

Among several initiatives, Rotary Club of Poipu Beach, in partnership with the Aloha Angels Fund, has presented a major gift to teachers totaling $15,000 for the coming school year. Joe Nelson, owner of Koloa Surf Company, has added $3,000.

Chris Young, Rotary Club of Poipu Beach President, said the groups are adopting 19 Koloa elementary classrooms. In addition, the partners are paying for teachers to mentor eight after-school clubs each quarter.

“This means that each teacher will receive $700 to spend on classroom supplies and a field trip for students in the coming year,” Young said. “We are very happy to continue our support of the work you do for the next generation.”

Michael Carlsson, Rotary Club of Poipu Beach past-president, and Ric Cox, President of Aloha Angels, joined Young to present the symbolic check to Koloa Elementary Principal Linda Uyehara.

“Students benefit a great deal by both programs sponsored by Rotary: Adopt a Teacher and After School Programs. Many times both parents are working,” Uyehara said. “Offering well-rounded enrichment programs allows children to thrive. Teachers are on a limited budget, so field trips are a huge benefit.”

Kelly Dame, who teaches fifth grade, added, “Teachers really appreciate outside support. Many teachers feel alone and additional financial support makes such a big difference to supplement classroom supplies. Last year, I purchased science equipment, math tools, and language arts material. The reimbursement process was great.”

This gift of adopting classrooms and after-school clubs is in addition to other Rotary programs at the school. Volunteers from Rotary Club of Poipu Beach also go into classrooms regularly to read, mentor, and develop vocabulary with students in a program called Rotary Readers.

Rotary Club of Poipu Beach members also recently distributed dictionaries to each third-grade student at Koloa Elementary, as well as at Kalaheo Elementary, Island School, and Kawaikini Charter School.

The object of the Rotary Dictionary Project is to give every student a personal dictionary.

Rotary Club of Poipu Beach further encourages reading by donating books to the Koloa Library.

The Aloha Angels Fund raises and distributes private funds for education on Kauai. In the past 16 months, it has raised over $500,000. Cox created Adopt a Teacher and Adopt an After-School Club programs as a member of the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, which spun off the programs.

Last year, the Aloha Angels Fund assisted the adoption of every teacher in 12 of the 13 elementary schools across Kauai.

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