Molokai Youth Discover the Joy of Reading
Wednesday January 24 saw the burgeoning Read Aloud Program (RAP) come to Kaunakakai School for a two hour event which included a book swap, raffle, a light dinner, tips for parents to start reading as a family and getting kids to read on their own, and of course, kids reading aloud to one another.
RAP is the brain-child of Jed Gaines, a father of two who came to realize the importance of regular reading in his battle to overcome his own severe dyslexia. “When I was in school, I managed to fool teachers for a few years; none of them suspected that I couldn’t read until grade five,” says Gaines to a cafeteria packed full of students and parents “When I was found out- that was a deeply embarrassing moment for me”. In order to combat his dyslexia, Gaines began to read privately in any spare time he had, and eventually got faster and more confident. He began to put together the Read Aloud America (RAA) non-profit in the late 1980’s around the time his own children were entering elementary school, and RAP, featuring the program structure on display last week in Kaunakakai, was founded in 1998.
According to RAA research, some of the target benefit statistics include 83% of attending parents reporting an increase in their child or children’s voluntary reading time, and 72% of parents reporting an increase in their own reading time. Also, through RAP’s No Television Through Thursday (NTTT) initiative, 70% of attending households say their television watching time drops after attending a RAP session.
RAP will be returning to Kaunakakai School several times over the next few months, with events occurring on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month from now through April, with the event starting at 5:45.
Local author Gail Omoto’s new book Kai the ‘Opihi is featured on RAP’s recommended list, and is available at Molokai Drugs.
For more information on the Read Aloud Program and reading tips visit www.readaloudamerica.org.