Funds raised during ‘Read Across America’ to assist Kumu’s Cupboard

LIHUE — Partial proceeds from Saturday’s “Read Across America” will benefit Kumu’s Cupboard, the nonprofit volunteer-driven resource providing free school supplies and resources to teachers.

“Usborne Books has committed to giving 50 percent of the proceeds — not in cash, but in titles,” said Stacie Chiba-Miguel, the assistant manager at the Kukui Grove Center. “This goes to help Kumu’s Cupboard who we look forward to being more involved in this year’s Back to School Bash.”

Read Across America takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kukui Grove Center Stage area and will feature guest readers, books for readers of all ages, a variety of keiki entertainment and activities, door prizes and more.

Kumu’s Cupboard also got its launch during the Back to School Bash in 2016.

“We are looking forward to more involvement with Kumu’s Cupboard for this year’s event which will take place on July 22,” Chiba-Miguel said. “This event has become a great community event that focuses on Kauai’s keiki because it is the only public event where Kauai school students can obtain free school supplies to start their year off right.”

Organizers presented the final accounting of Back to School Bash to Department of Education school principals Tuesday during the principals’ meeting at the state building.

Chiba-Miguel said Kauai is the only island in the state giving out free school supplies without qualification.

There were 3,000 people who turned out for the 2016 event, an increase of 1,000 people from 2015.

Volunteers assembled 1,900 school supply bags, an increase of 700 bags from the year before. With the addition of new items for this year which included binders and glue sticks, the value of each school supply bag went out at nearly $27 per bag, an increase in value from the $14.41 in 2015.

“We additionally set aside bags for the YWCA of Kauai shelter for women and children. They have 36 school-aged children and the last of these bags will be delivered to them, shortly,” Chiba-Miguel said.

The costs of providing school supplies to the children was shared between 24 sponsors, including the title sponsor Hawaii Medical Service Association, who combined to raise $40,000.

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