HONOLULU (KHON2) — Teachers are receiving a helping hand in the classroom from those who have a wealth of knowledge to share.
Now there’s a great need for these volunteers.
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Lynn Cambra is helping out first graders at King William C. Lunalilo Elementary School. She’s on campus every day but doesn’t work for the school.
She’s a volunteer for the program Kupuna in the Classroom — federally known as the Foster Grandparent Program.
“I’d rather do something than not do something. You can just stay home and watch TV and veg and I’d rather be somewhere where I’m productive,” she said.
This federal program is implemented locally by the state Department of Human Services. They have volunteers across Hawaii, who help teachers with whatever they need.
“So, we have a vetting process and we do training and there is an income criteria for those volunteers that meet those income criteria,” said Suzanne Hull, program director. “They can get an hourly stipend and a meal allowance and transportation allowance as well.”
Hull said a lot of their volunteers retired or moved away, so there’s a huge need for them.
“Anyone who is energetic, they have compassion for students, for learning, they’re motivated they’re excited about sharing their knowledge, their experience,” Hull said.
“The part I really like is when they get it, you know, when they go ‘oh yeah Aunty, I got it, I got it, this is what it is!’ You see the joy in their face,” Cambra said.
“So it’s an extra adult on campus that they know and they can trust. They just love having her around and we love her here. It’s just a bonus for everybody,” said Wendy Kau, principal of Lunalilo Elementary.
KHON2 asked first grader Abygail Dupio what they liked most about Cambra.
“She’s very kind, she’s very helpful and she’s very nice,” Dupio said.
“You don’t know what you’re doing, the impression that you’re making on the child,” Cambra said.
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If you’re interested in becoming a Kupuna in the Classroom volunteer, click here for more information.