LIHUE — Kauai has 12 public or charter elementary schools. However, school ends in the early afternoon and for many children there’s not much to do.
Step in, Aloha Angels.
For the third year running, the nonprofit Aloha Angels has sponsored more than 50 after-school mentoring clubs.
These clubs in elementary and middle schools provided opportunities across a wide range of interests including music, sports and culinary arts.
“Our program is giving kids opportunities to shine and show their talents, when they might struggle in other areas, both academically and behaviorally,” said Farrah Krovoza, club mentor. “We bring kids together from all walks of life, we build confidence, we create lasting friendships and relationships.”
Several Kilauea Elementary teachers pooled their Aloha Angels funds so their Drama Club could produce the musical, “Shrek.”
In addition, three new clubs were sponsored at Waimea Canyon Middle School that provide an opportunity for students to participate in their own band and have a coach. Students learn keyboard, guitar, bass and drums/percussion, rehearse weekly and have free access to the Bandwagon studios.
Aloha Angels continues to support elementary school teachers on Kauai with their Adopt-a-Teacher program, which began in 2013. For the fourth year in a row, Aloha Angels has adopted 192 homeroom teachers at 12 public elementary schools, making $500 available for each teacher to spend on classroom supplies or field trips for more than 4,000 students.
The Aloha Angels program, known as Adopt-a-Teacher, provides essential resources that teachers want for their kids but may do not have the funds to do so.
This year, using an online digital platform known as Class Wallet, each teacher received $500 to purchase educational tools easily from their computer, tablet or smartphone.
“This is so much more efficient than our previous systems,” noted Ron Margolis, Aloha Angels board member.
This year, teachers have purchased arts and crafts supplies, books, headphones, digital media players, laser printers and listening libraries.
“When we tell keiki that their teacher is getting $500 to spend on them,” Margolis said, “their eyes light up, they clap and cheer excitedly, then they yell, ‘Thank you!’”
Aloha Angels designates three types of “angels” who support this essential work for Kauai’s keiki and teachers.
A “Class Angel” donates $500, so that a classroom teacher can purchase supplies or take their students on a field trip. Those who donate between $1,000 and $9,999 are called “Grand Angels.”
And “Aloha Angels” is the title given to those who give a minimum of $10,000. This year the three Aloha Angels so far are: Saltchuk Companies, Adrienne Kimber, and the Gruner Family.
Ric Cox, Aloha Angels founder, died April 13, 2017 at the age of 72. He said the ultimate goal of the group “is to give away one million dollars every year, to form a more perfect Kauai.”
They did that by enlisting the support of philanthropic individuals and institutions with ties to Kauai and asking them to open their hearts and their checkbooks to help Kauai’s keiki.