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Keiki Expo will be Big Fun for the Little Ones

The ninth annual Keiki Expo packed a lot of learning and entertainment into one morning at the Mitchell Pauole Center last Saturday.

Education and health was the driving force behind the Expo’s activities, but for the keiki, it was all fun and games. The “Diaper Dash” crawling contest had tots racing for the win, and Kala Juario got things moving with keiki Zumba. There was also a bouncing castle, giveaways and storytelling.

Event organizer Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello said the event shows parents of young children what programs on the island can help them and their kieki.

“Once the children get older, everything they do is part of the [school] system,” Rawlins-Crivello said. “We want to make sure students are ready for that. So we are getting the information to all of the parents that these are the services that help you and the keiki.”

Zumba participants dance the morning away at the 2013 Keiki Expo

She said the expo aims to keep the services on the island by bringing enough participants into their programs.
“Too often we say, ‘nothing is on Molokai,’ but it’s not true,” she added. “The expo is really a win-win situation. It helps the programs, it helps the families and it helps the community.”

Kindergarten teacher Tanya Manaba-Will, who emceed the event, said she and other local teachers volunteered their Saturday to meet their future students and get an idea of the resources they will need.

“We want to know who’s coming to our schools,” Manaba-Will said, speaking for all the kindergarten teachers at the Expo. “We have to pay for a lot of our own resources, and we need to know how much to prepare for.”

Josette Mawae Mollena was at the Expo with her daughter and grandson, who got a free keiki ID and danced along to keiki Zumba.

“Just seeing families out with their children is a highlight for me,” Mollena said.




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