The Kihei Elementary School Student Council and Dolphin Ambassadors EarlyAct Group, consisting of representatives from all grade levels, have again joined forces with the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset for the fifth “Pennies for Polio” drive.  Led by staff member Esther Byun and Rotary member Joanne Laird, the students were introduced to Rotary International’s “End Polio Now Campaign”.  The student leaders made posters for all classrooms and provided collection jars for each classroom.  The collection period was for 10 days in February and a total of $1804 was the result of this school-wide effort.  Ms. Rene Romerdahl’s first grade class and Ms. Jody Glickman’s 4th grade class were the top classes who collected funds for their recess period and received a Jamba Juice/Healthy Snack party from the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset.  Assisting with this project were members of the Rotary Club of Kihei Wailea, Jay Satenstein and Jim Fritch.  Special thanks to American Savings Bank Kahului Branch who counted and recorded vast amounts of coin and currency collected by the 36 classes. The EarlyAct student leaders were given ¼ of the collected funds for future projects and the remaining funds were sent to Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign and will be matched 2-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The student leaders were surprised to learn that Polio is a disease that killed and crippled so many children in the 20th century and thanks to the efforts of Rotary International there has been a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%.  Upon learning about this effort, the students were eager to take part in the project to help Rotary end this disease in the world.  According to Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset Co-President Joanne Laird, “The students embraced this project and experienced first-hand the meaning of the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self”.