Dr. Seuss Comes to 1st Graders

Rotary Club Lahaina News Release

“Don’t give up. I believe in you all. A person’s a person. No matter how small.” Beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss would have turned 113 years-old on March 2, and Rotarians across Hawaii celebrated his birthday with the “5 Million Words Challenge.” Taking place from Feb. 27 to March 3, the week-long program was a partnership between Hawaii Rotary District 5000, the Department of Education, State of Hawaii and First Lady Dawn Ige, who together made it possible for volunteers to read Dr. Seuss books to every first-grade class in public and charter schools across the state.

On Wednesday, March 1, D5000 Literacy Chair Liz May and D5000 Youth Service Chair Joanne Laird flew to Molokai to read two Dr. Seuss books to every first grader on Molokai. The read-aloud presentations were arranged by Alison K.B. Place, School Renewal Specialist. Liz and Joanne traveled to Kilohana, Kaunakakai, Kualapuu and Maunaloa Schools. They read aloud from “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Do You Want to Be a Bullfrog” books. The books were then presented to the teachers for their classroom libraries.

At the conclusion of the read-aloud, the children each received a 20-page Dr. Seuss activity booklet from the Rotary Club.

“Dr. Seuss used beautiful illustrations and clever rhymes to convey thoughtful social messages that resonate with children and adults alike,” said May. “We were excited to bring his imaginative, fun stories to first grade classrooms on Molokai.”

May and Laird also shared with the children that the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset also presents dictionaries to every third grader on Molokai, and high school students are sponsored to attend the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Camp at YMCA Camp Keanae on Maui. In February of this year nine students from Molokai attended the camp as a result of this sponsorship. Rotary also offers two scholarship opportunities to Molokai High School graduates.

Both Hawaii Rotary, represented by District Governor Clint Schroeder, and Rotary International strongly support literacy initiatives and see early literacy training as critical to the success of a child’s later education.

Nine of the 50 clubs that make up Rotary District 5000 are located on Maui and Lanai. Rotary is a leadership organization made up of local businesses, professional and civic leaders. The clubs members meet regularly get to know each other, form friendships and through that they are able to get things done in our community. For more information about starting a Rotary club on Molokai contact Laird at mamalrd01@gmail.com.


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