LIHU‘E — Elsie Wilcox Elementary School principal Corey Nakamura interrupted his first day of teachers coming back to school to join students Aria Carvalho, Makoa Lemke-Hayashi, Cayde Gonsalves, and Chloe Carvalho, Wednesday.
The students collected at the school’s name plate sign to accept a load of 102 keiki-sized fabric face masks from State Farm Insurance Agent Darrellyn Lemke as part of her State Farm Good Neighbor Fund project.
“State Farm Insurance provided all of their agents with these funds to be used for a project because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lemke said. “I don’t know what the other agents did for their projects, but I used the bulk of the funds to feed our firemen. I was fortunate enough to have enough left over so I could get fabric face masks for the Wilcox School.”
Nakamura, wearing a fabric face mask donated earlier by the Lihu‘e Hongwanji Mission Women’s Club, said the State Farm masks, created in the school’s colors of purple and gold, and in student sizes, are handy, arriving just ahead of students returning to the classrooms.
“These are the right size,” Nakamura said. “We’ll combine them with the donation from the Women’s Club and distribute two, or three to each of the school’s teachers to get them started in the year. The teachers can use them for students who come to school without face masks, get them soiled, or just don’t have any. This way, we don’t need to send the students home, or interrupt their parents’ work just to get a mask. We’ll continue to use them until the donation runs out.”
Schools within the Department of Education Kaua‘i Area Complex are scheduled to see students returning to the classroom starting Aug. 4 unless a delay for the start of school is affected during the special Board of Education virtual meeting, Thursday where oral and written testimony will be accepted on the preparations for the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.