Kumu’s gets ready for teachers

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    State Department of Education Kauai Complex Area Superintendent William Arakaki, left, watches as Kukui Grove Center’s Melissa McFerrin-Warrack breaks out a Back to School bash bag that will be filled with school supplies before Myrna Buster of Kauai’s credit unions, Sheila Bradley of Usborne Books and More, Denise Roberts and Joycelyn Arford of KONG Radio Group, Jeannie Odo, Judy Cano of the DOE and Elyse Litvack of Kumu’s Cupboard, Wednesday at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Elyse Litvack of Kumu’s Cupboard finishes packing a backpack of school supplies agains the backdrop of a wall being developed to stock new, quality books for educators, at the facility near Pier 1 Imports in Lihue.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kumu’s Cupboard volunteers Elizabeth Mares and Bonnie Kakinami create packages for new teacher orientation and training at Kumu’s Cupboard near Pier 1 Imports in Lihue.

LIHUE — School is not open until Aug. 1, but that did not stop the phone calls from teachers, said Elyse Litvack, president of Kumu’s Cupboard, Tuesday morning.

“They’ve already been calling,” said Litvack.

Litvack and volunteers worked to ready the educator resource center for re-opening on July 16. Boxes of supplies needed to be unpacked and stocked, the new wall of new books needed to be filled, and a myriad of other chores taken care of, including the packing of orientation kits for new teachers, and backpacks of school supplies for teachers.

“Every year, there are teachers who come in and talk about the one, or two students who come to the first day of school with nothing,” Litvack said. “We pack these backpacks so the teachers can at least have one, or two to bring back for those students who have nothing.”

The Kukui Grove Center, along with a host of sponsors, including Kumu’s Cupboard, is hosting a free “Back to School Bash” Saturday where more than 1,800 backpacks of school supplies will be distributed free to school students until the supply is exhausted.

Other school-related resource material, a health fair, and free entertainment will accompany the school supplies distribution that begins with the opening of the fun fair at 9:30 a.m.

Currently, there are more than 600 educators registered to “shop” at Kumu’s Cupboards for education aids and material as well as make arrangements to rent specialized equipment and material.

“One of our goals for this year is to create an entire wall with new, quality books for teachers,” Litvack said. “We have books, but we want to supplement those with more new, quality material the teachers can find useful.”

The goal is being funded through a “Bucks for Books” campaign being hosted by Kumu’s Cupboard.

“Our goal at Kumu’s Cupboard is to provide more new, quality books for our teachers,” Litvack said. “We want to fill and maintain an entire wall for them.”

Contributions for the Bucks for Books can be done at www.kumuscupboard.org, visiting the outlet located next to the Great Harvest Bread Company, or mailing a check to Kumu’s Cupboard, P.O. Box 3650, Lihue, Hawaii 96766.

Kumu’s Cupboard will open to educators on July 16 from 3:30 to 7 p.m. They will be open on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tuesday and Friday hours are 3:30 to 7 p.m., Saturday hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Sundays, the teacher resource center is available from 1 to 4 p.m.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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