By Vanessa Garcia
This past weekend on Sunday, October 2, 2016, Hawai’i 5210 was proud to be a part of the 23rd annual Hawai’i Children & Youth Day at the Hawai’i State Capitol. It was a free event for community members to gather and celebrate our keiki (children) and ‘opio (youth). According to the Hawai’i Children & Youth Day website, Hawai’i was the first state to pass a law which dedicates an entire month in, “recognizing the potential and special gifts of our keiki (children) and ‘opio (youth). It is a time for them to shine and share their bountiful energy with their community.” The Hawai’i Children & Youth Day event was indeed full of energy from the volunteers, community members, entertainers, keikis and their families.
We had a great deal of fun interacting with the keiki and their families. Our “Rethink your Drink” booth really drew in the crowd. Those who stopped by our booth learned about how much sugar we consume per day, what a sugar-sweetened drink is and how it can negatively affect the body, tips for parents and keiki on how to make healthier drinking choices, what soda can do to the body, and how water is the best alternative. Community members, teachers, parents, grandparents, aunties, and uncles, were especially shocked when they learned how much sugar they were consuming daily. They would immediately go find their keiki and bring them to our booth to show them what they were feeding their bodies. It was wonderful to see the parents teaching their children after we informed them about sugar-sweetened beverages and their effects on the body. Also, it was helpful that we had visual aids for each drink we felt keiki consumed the most accompanied by a mason jar filled with the amount of sugar it contained. That especially shocked our crowd.
After the keiki and their families interacted with us at our booth, we were happy to give out our awesome Hawai’i 5210 tattoos and stickers. The keiki really loved them! Many whom stopped at our booth now know about our mission here at Hawai’i 5210 and the “5210” message. It was a successful event!
Hawai’i Children & Youth Day Website:
A guide for Hawai’i Children & Youth Day: