Laulima: Maemae Elementary students buy toys for less fortunate keiki

Elementary students recently had a dream field trip: a trip to a toy store.

Third-graders from Maemae Elementary School in Liliha weren’t buying anything for themselves, but they still had the best time.

“We’re looking for Legos,” said one student.

“There’s a lot of Nerf guns, and then I was thinking of getting a book,” said another.

“We’re just giving it to less fortunate kids that don’t get too much toys on Christmas,” explained third-grader Caleb Leong.

“They can decide on the age of the child and the gender of the child who they want to purchase a toy for,” said Maemae teacher Leslie Isaacs. “We’re trying to get the children to think about other people in our community. We’re trying to integrate some economics at the same time.”

The kids are challenged to make the most out of money they “earned” at home for this Laulima Giving Program.

“I only have $10, so I might buy multiple toys that are like cheaper,” said third-grader Kahaku Harrison. “At school, we got a paper and then we took it home and then did chores, so our parents paid us for the chores and that money we used to buy all these toys.”

“I had students coming in every day talking about the kinds of chores they were doing, whether it was buckling in their little brother in the car seat or walking the dog, and how much they earned and the enthusiasm was really amazing to see. It makes it all worthwhile,” said Isaacs.

Clearly in the spirit of Laulima, their many hands working together are making other children’s holiday’s brighter.

“What’s going to happen is we bring the toys back to school and we have a Laulima assembly and as a school, we donate new, unwrapped toys to children in our community,” Isaacs said.

“It makes me feel happy because they get to have toys for Christmas and they get to be happy too,” said third-grader Christof Devera.

“It feels good inside, in like a really good way, like I just did a good thing in school and like I got a good grade,” Leong said.


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