When the Koloa School Ukulele Band and its second-grade students hit the stage Wednesday afternoon, it was just a preview of the school’s May Day program set for Wednesday, May 22, at the school’s outdoor stage area.

“Everyone is invited to come see and enjoy the students’ performances,” said Leila Kobayashi, principal.

Members of the diverse range of people in the audience clapped, cameras clicked, and video rolled as the select students in third through fifth grade worked through numbers like “Bamboo,” “Fish and Poi,” and a version of “Maui, The Hawaiian Superman” that had several of the students doing a behind-the-head rendering of a segment on ukulele.

Following the band’s showcase, they adjourned to the side, where they accompanied the second-grade students who performed a hula extolling the beauty of Kauai.

“Community partners like The Shops at Kukuiula make it possible for many of the Koloa School programs like the ukulele band under kumu Rachel,” Kobayashi said.

Stacie Chiba-Miguel and Pillare Mukai of The Shops at Kukuiula management team presented the school with an award of $1,660, an amount that drew silent awe from some of the parents.

“This amount reflects the contributions received from the distribution of holiday bags,” Chiba-Miguel said. “In addition to the donations for the students’ hand-made custom gift bags, The Shops at Kukuiula is adding a $1,000 award.”

Under the program, students from Koloa School create handcrafted gift bags which are delivered to The Shops at Kukuiula for holiday shopping. The bags are distributed to stores and are available to shoppers for a nominal donation.

Originally published in The Garden Island