Waimea We Are Community Fair Set for March 28

March 24, 2019, 12:00 PM HST (Updated March 22, 2019, 2:05 PM)
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Waimea is invited to the first We Are Community Fair from 5 to 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Waimea Middle School’s new STEAM Learning Center.

The fair is free and all are welcome to this casual gallery walk of caring community supports and resources for students, families and community. The reward for attending will include a free bag of food from The Food Basket (if wanted), along with tips and insights into supports or services that could make life better.

The idea began as WMS Principal Janice English’s brainstorm. She and the school’s teachers and staff recognized that many in the community struggle with issues beyond the scope of the school, and these issues impact student well-being, attendance, behavior and readiness to learn. But what English knew was that there are supports and resources in the community that can help, so she reached out and many have stepped up. The response was so enthusiastic and diverse, that the school decided to open up the event to the entire community including Waimea Elementary School families, churches and kūpuna.

Everyone who comes will be given a passport to be stamped as they stroll from station to station, and the reward for making just six stops will be a bag of food from The Food Bank. Each station along the gallery walk will have information to share—from how to apply for SNAP (the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), to QUEST for medical assistance.

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There will also be experts available to talk about everything from after-school and summer programs for youth, to what to do if you or a family member needs a dentist or pediatrician, or if you know of someone experiencing depression, loss or having thoughts about suicide. Also, AARP volunteers will be available to schedule free tax preparation help.

There also will be tips on safe use of social media to the Blue Zones Project’s Power 9 strategies for living longer better, to free coupons for Waimea Elementary’s thrift shop, plus information about reading programs and technology services at Thelma Parker Memorial Library.

Want to know the facts about vaping? Or what to do to help prevent diabetes? All this and more will be available including an opportunity to talk to mentors with Boys 2 Men about how to just talk with your child or grandchild.

Partnering with Waimea Middle School for this event will be the Hāmākua Kohala Health Center, The Food Basket, Blue Zones Project, Boys 2 Men, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Waimea Elementary Thrift Shop, Thelma Parker Memorial Library, Hawai‘i County Community Policing and Family Counselor Makela Bruno Kidani.

Snacks will be provided and no RSVP is required—just come. There’s plenty of parking near the new STEAM Learning Center but do not drive on the field to protect its sprinklers. Parking along the entry drive and nearby parking lot is recommended.

For information, call Waimea Middle School at (808) 887-6090, ext. 222, or Patti Cook at (808) 937-2833.

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