Kalihi students get much-needed school supplies thanks to community donations

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It’s that time of year again and Christmas has come a little early for dozens of students in Kalihi.

“Color, pencils, crayons, books, pens, and stuff,” third grader Lexi Malong said.

Donations from around the state have been pouring into the KHON2 Laulima Giving Program to arm students with school supplies.

“They are very appreciative, not only the children, but the whole school community. They are very appreciative, so it feels good,” said Sonya Zabala with Keiki O Ka Aina.

Partnered with Keiki O Ka Aina, Laulima means many hands coming together — something the students see first hand when the donations are delivered and distributed.

“They came from many hands donating. It’s a big outreach from the community and so everybody has been donating school supplies,” Zabala said.

Friday’s donation of four large boxes was given to Kalihi Elementary, a school where the majority of its students come from low-income housing and don’t have the money to buy simple supplies.

“There are also some that can’t, and so with this donation, we can definitely support our kids our students to be able to have the right tools and supplies, so they can get the education they need,” Kalihi Elementary School Principal David Pila said.

With 87 percent of the 317 students grades K-5 on free or reduced meal plans, something as simple as a pencil can go a long way toward preparing these keiki for their future.

“We have been working hard in trying to reach the bar. We are in continuous improvement,” Principal Pila said.

“The things that are needed that are not necessarily the challenge now, we can move on to the bigger stuff like reading, writing, and math, and pre-college,” Zabala said.

For more information on the Laulima Giving Program, visit this website.

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