Monday | October 23, 2017
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This week’s focus is all about our isle keiki

It’s all about our keiki, in the Kokua Way today, shining a bright light on the future.

Honokaa Elementary School will host its Open House and the Book Fair Family Event on Friday . Support your child by coming at 4:30 p.m. to visit your keiki’s home room, and then at 5 p.m. meet in the SFA, Success For All, Classroom.

Please remember that the open house is a time for your child to introduce you to their teacher and give you a tour of their class. Open house gives students an opportunity to proudly explain what they do in class. If you have concerns, or need more time with the teacher, please make an appointment for another day.

Please join the school for a short SCC, School Community Council, presentation and the ever-popular HEA, Honokaa Elementary Association, T-shirt design contest voting.

The Honokaa Elementary Association will host a book fair immediately following the open house.

Watch for the Book Fair flyer for more detail,s like how to win prizes, or how to join us for a free breakfast! Don’t forget to stop by and load up on books for the upcoming year!

During this evening, take the opportunity to visit these assorted community partners who will be sharing their resources from 5-7 p.m. For information, plan to visit the Hawaii Community FCU, the Boy Scouts of America, the Hamukua Kohala Health and the Hamakua Youth Center at their tables.

Please join us and our community partners for the open house and HEA Book Fair at the cafeteria. For more information, call Hilda Yagong at 775-8820, ext. 225.

Honokaa Elementary and the credit union would like to remind you that Wednesday will be the next Deposit Day. Deposit Days are a great way for students to learn and practice money management. Learning to be money smart is a valuable life skill.

This year’s HEA/Scholastic Book Fair theme is “Enter the Kingdom of Books!

The Friday night events are from 5:30-8:30 p.m., following the open house. There will be crafts, games, prizes and lots of great books!

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Then, it’s a very special Saturday with “Sir Readalot’s Book Journey!” from 9 a.m.-noon. Join Honokaa Elementary for a “grand” breakfast! Invite your grandparents, relatives, aunts and uncles, neighbors, and devoted caregivers to join you for breakfast and some special shopping time at the Book Fair (8:30-9:30 a.m.; must RSVP) Saturday morning. The school needs volunteers for these events. Come and help us make it an event fit for kings. For any questions, please call Hilda Yagong at above phone number.

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Come to the Honokaa Seed Exchange &Potluck happening at Honokaa School Cafeteria on Saturday from 2-5 p.m. Bring seeds, if can, or just come. There will be a special presentation from Russell Nagata on “Variety Trials.” This event is in collaboration with Honokaa High School Ag Program and the Hawaii Public Seed Initiative. For more information, email or Facebook.Com/HonokaaSeedExchange.

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All of Waimea — families and community friends — are invited to start a conversation about safe, meaningful activities for children during “high risk” after-school hours when a fair number of kids are home alone or hanging out at the library or shopping center.

This conversation starter will be from 4-5:30 p.m., Tuesday in Thelma Parker Memorial Library conference room.

All families, school leaders, teachers and staff, athletic organizations, churches and other program sponsors are invited — both to help assess what’s currently available and to explore what more may be needed.

“Please join us – we think there are many in town with a need or interest in helping shape great futures for kids,” said Waimea Middle School parent Patrick Hurney, who in his professional life runs Habitat for Humanity in West Hawaii.

Here’s how this all started: Several Waimea Middle School families approached the school’s Local Advisory Panel (LAP) last May, expressing concern about not having safe, affordable options for childcare during after-school hours. Children home alone or sent to the library to “hang out” for two-plus hours isn’t good for the children, family or community — so what might be done about this?

A group of WMS staff, parents and several community friends met during the summer to discuss this and one suggestion was to learn more about the Boys &Girls Club of the Big Island (B&GCBI), which is a branch of a well-regarded out-of-school program with a long history of success all over the country as well as in Hilo, and for a shorter period of time, in Paauilo, Pahoa, Keaau, Naalehu and Pahala.

The informal Waimea group met with Zavi Brees-Saunders, chief professional officer of B&GCBI, to see what it would take to bring this program to Waimea.

Breese-Saunders explained B&GCBI is more than simply child care. Its mission is to provide place-based club environments that ensure youthful participants have a sense of belonging and place through quality programs offered by trained supportive staff and volunteers.

B&GCBI’s “formula” for helping shape “great futures” for its youth participants is an “outcome-driven experience “that includes: Academic Success, Good Character &Citizenship and Healthy Lifestyles.

This appealed to the Waimea exploratory group, which included several individuals who “grew up” in, or helped start a Boys&Girls Club elsewhere.

So, would B&GCBI be interested in starting a program in Waimea? Yes —but it’s not without cost. While the fee to participate in B&GCBI is a modest annual membership of less than $20 per child, the program requires a facility and staff, and how to pay for this is the question.

The other big question is how many families and how many students might actually use such a program? Many children already participate in after-school programs – tutoring, sports, robotics, etc. These programs do not run every day so a detailed needs assessment is a priority.

Hence, the Tuesday meeting is intended to start the exploration process.

For more information about B&GCBI, go to For more information about this meeting, call WMS Principal Matt Horne (887-6090, ext. 225) or Vice Principal Amy Kendziorski (887-6090, ext. 227). Mrs. K, as she is called, started what is today a thriving Boys and Girls Club in Durango, Colorado.

Email Carol Yurth at


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