• Hawaiʻi State Senate


HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – Twenty-eight very excited first graders gathered in the classroom of Linapuni

Elementary School this morning to receive a special gift from State Senator Donna Mercado Kim.

Although they’ve been back in the classroom for over a month, the colorful sackpacks filled with school supplies the students received today from Sen. Kim will help them learn throughout the year.

“It’s such a joy to see their smiles and get their hugs. They were so happy to receive these basic school tools,” said Sen. Kim (Dist. 14 – Kapalama, ‘Alewa, Kalihi Valley, Ft. Shafter, Moanalua Gardens & Valley, portions of Halawa and ‘Aiea). “It seems like such a small gesture, but it means so much to them and gives them something to be proud of. It warms my heart to be able to do something to help them succeed.”

Linapuni Elementary School provides early childhood education from Pre-K to Grade 1. It has a current enrollment of 200 students and serves the residents of Kuhio Homes and the Towers of Kuhio. Every student at Linapuni receives free and reduced lunch assistance making it the school with the highest number of students in the state enrolled in the federal assisted meal program.

“At Linapuni, we want to build a foundation where the kids love school, so these sackpacks just reinforces our message to them that school is important and they are important. Senator Kim’s visit today shows our kids the community believes they are important, too,” said Principal Cindy Sunahara.

As a member of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL), Sen. Kim was selected to receive the donation of school supplies as part of an NFWL partnership with the Office Depot Foundation. In addition to Linapuni Elementary, Sen. Kim chose to assist students at Ka‘ewai Elementary and Kalihi Waena Elementary.

All of these schools are among the O‘ahu campuses with the highest number of students who come from low-income families and have a large percentage of students receiving free or reduced-cost school lunches.

This is the 11th year of the partnership with the NFWL and the 16th year of the National Backpack Program. This year, the Office Depot Foundation will provide the National Foundation for Women Legislators with sackpacks for distribution by women elected officials in approximately 25 states.

  • Flickr Photo Albums
  • Facebook Page
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest Photos
  • Twitter
Copyright 2019 Hawai`i Senate Majority

Hawai`i State Capitol
415 South Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96813