Investing in youth

  • Photo courtesy DrB Kani Blackwell

    Alakai O Kaua`i Charter School students, front row from left, Mason Thorpe, Jesse Peterson, Nai`a Bever, Cheyenne Favors, Lucy Blanchard, Olive Dillberg and Jada Leone. Back row from left,Makai Cummings, Sylvan Reeves, Chase Vandenakker, Rhett Leonard, Seann Agoo, Kapono Pavao, Corbin Castle and Josh Martin.

A year ago, November 2017, Alakai O Kauai Charter School was the grateful recipient of $32,500 from Walmart Foundation for technology, specifically buying iPads for the learners.

School personnel had kept the $32,500 in reserved funds to do the purchase in July 2018, for they wanted to get the latest technology and service warranties.

Excitement was abound for the opening of the new school Aug. 28. Hurricane Lane had alternative plans for the little school and flooded the pothole dirt road leading to the school with a huge river across the road. Alakai School had to cancel the first day of school, but since that time, the school has proceeded nicely.

In October 2018, the school was able to make the final purchases of iPADS from Apple Education Store, additional computer needs for the facilitators (teachers), and needed Chromebooks for the learners to take State-mandated testing.

Although learners now have computers and funds have been spent, protective covers for all the new technology need to be purchased for learners are young and technology is not child-proof yet. There will be additional technology expenses for the brand new school but what a wonderful start from the Walmart Foundation.

This group of fifth graders are so thankful for the Walmart Foundation grant that they made thank you cards and wanted a picture to share to give to Diane Keeler, the manager of Walmart Store in Lihue.

The young girl in the front, Cheyenne, wrote, “ To Walmart — Thank you for the computers and money. Love, Cheyenne. PS I love shopping at Walmart!”

When DrB Blackwell, a frequent volunteer at the school, started to take the picture, one of the learners said, “Hey let’s put the Walmart website on our screens!”

And DrB wondered aloud, “Now why didn’t I think of that!”

These are the leaders of tomorrow who are true thinkers.

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