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Parent and Child Fair takes place in Lihu‘e on Saturday

LIHU‘E — Entering the world of learning can be a trying time for keiki and parents alike, and the goal of the Parent and Child Fair on Saturday is to make the transition from play to learning as smooth as possible.

“The heart of this event likes within the vision that aunty Jeannie Odo, recently retired from the Department of Education, created many years ago to connect our families with keiki ages 0-8 years old to early childhood education programs, activities and resources,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack of Kukui Grove Center, one of the main drivers behind the event.

“There will be booths, entertainment and free activities for children provided by the various participating agencies. These agencies will be providing information about their programs, services and safety precautions for infants, toddlers, preschool students, children with special needs and kindergarten students living on Kaua‘i,” McFerrin-Warrack said.

Inspired by the former DOE Sequenced Transition to Education in the Public Schools event that ran at Kukui Grove Center for 17 years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saturday’s Parent and Child Fair is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with an abundance of free activities flavoring the abundance of information that will be available, in many cases, first-hand or in-person.

“It’s like the Kaua‘i ‘Ohana Resource Kiosk, or KORK, come to life,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “A lot of the information at the KORK will be available from the people who keep the kiosk stocked. They’ll be here in person.”

Patrons can start the fair by having their car seat checked by the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition for proper installation and most current recalls, and inspected to ensure the car seat delivers the measure of safety keiki receive while riding in cars and pickups. This free service is available following the certification of car seat inspectors after the certifications expired during the pandemic.

Car seat inspections will be done in a special area of the shopping center’s parking lot, on the west side of the center.

More than 30 vendors will have exhibits, information and activities in stations set up throughout the shopping center.

“This is the biggest event the shopping center has offered since 2019,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “In addition to the Kaua‘i Parent and Child Fair, another section of the parking lot is offering hot tub sales. This place is going to be pumping.”

Entertainers from Punana Leo Preschool, Kapa‘a Middle School Choir and ‘Ukulele Band, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School Choir and ‘Ukulele Band, Tsunami Taiko and Cruz Control with Frank Cruz will be providing music during all the browsing.

The Kaua‘i Parent and Child Fair is being coordinated by Alanna Bauman of the Kaua‘i Planning &Action Alliance, Lacie Corba of People Attentive To Children, Austin Heiser of the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office, Kathy Perez of the state Department of Education and Kukui Grove Center.

Major event sponsors include the Grove Farm Company Foundation, Holo Holo Charters, Kaua‘i Federal Credit Union, Kamehameha Schools and Costco.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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