It’s About YOU, Parents!

Another RAP Session at Kaunakakai Fosters the Joy of Storytelling


“If you only spend one hour of one-on-one time with you child per week, you will only have spent 39 days with them by the time they leave home.” Read Aloud Program (RAP) founder Jed Gaines holds a thick stack of parental feedback forms in his hand as he speaks to a room full of parents. “I found that statistic rather shocking. Spending an hour per week exclusively with your children is not something that everyone is doing. Driving them to school, eating dinner in front of the tv- these activities don’t tend to be great bonding experiences for families”


Gaines is on a mission. Noticing high divorce rates and seeing an overall trend of deteriorating American families, the 61 year-old dynamo has been running the Read Aloud Program, a comprehensive educational and family-building tool aimed at getting families together to foster the love of storytelling, for more than a decade. He is humble about Read Aloud’s success, but can’t help being excited over the enthusiasm shown by Molokai families thus far. “Parents come to RAP because they love their children, and want to build strong ohana. They tend to leave here happy with the advice for family togetherness they gain, and we’re very proud that they do.”


Gaines feels that his program’s greatest accomplishment is getting families to bond with one another, and wants to help perpetuate that trend by highlighting the joy of storytelling. “One lady last week asked ‘when our family reads together, my husband reads in standard English, but when I read, I translate the stories into Pidgin as I go. My kids yell at me and tell me I’m doing it wrong. Should I stop?’ and the answer is no. The finer points of written language should not be overlooked, and hearing the meter of English is very important to the development of a child’s brain. That said, hearing pidgin helps develop cultural understanding, so reading in both English and Pidgin English is beneficial.”


Kaunakakai school hosts the program every second Wednesday at 5:45 through the end of April.


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