Program Mails Free Books to Molokai Keiki

Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor

A pilot program on Molokai launched on Oct. 19 that will foster family reading and provide young keiki with a free book per month.

“Research shows that children are ready to learn in their earliest years, and this program provides no-cost opportunities for learning from birth through age 4,” said Hawaii’s first lady Dawn Amano-Ige, who launched the program along with state and nonprofit partners. “ʻOhana Readers encourages family read-aloud time, an activity that increases the vocabulary and language skills of our children and contributes to their growing knowledge of the world.”

‘Ohana Readers debuted at Kualapu’u School’s ‘Ohana Fun Fair two weeks ago. It will offer high-quality, age-appropriate Imagination Library books each month to children on Molokai who are 4 years old and younger. Children registered for the program will receive one book each month through the U.S. Postal Service beginning approximately about two months after their registration form has been submitted.

“Reading with our keiki is one of the best things we can do with them, and it’s something the whole family can be a part of,” said Rep. Lynn DeCoite, one of the program’s partners. “I am so happy that we are able to bring ‘Ohana Readers to Molokai so our community can showcase this program to the rest of the state.”

After its Molokai pilot, the program is expected to expand to communities across Hawaii.

The program is made possible through partnerships between the Office of the Governor, the State Department of Human Services (DHS), the Hawaii State Public Library System, Rep. Lynn DeCoite, and nonprofit partners The Dollywood Foundation, Friends of the Library, Learning to Grow and Read to Me International.

in 1995, entertainment icon and businesswoman Dolly Parton founded the Imagination Library, inspired by her father’s inability to read or write. The legacy continues on through 126 million free books provided through the Imagination Library to families with young children across the U.S. and in multiple other countries. The ‘Ohana Readers program is also operated through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

The Hawaii State Public Library System is encouraging families to register for the ‘Ohana Readers program. The Molokai Public Library will also offer programs that complement the books the children receive, and will provide other activities to promote literacy and reading.

“This program encourages the youngest members of our community to develop a love of reading that will be important throughout their entire lives,” said State Librarian Stacey Aldrich.
“The Hawaii State Public Library System is very excited to partner with the ʻOhana Readers program by being a place for families to sign up their little ones for story times at the Molokai Public Library to complement the books being mailed out.”

For more information about the ʻOhana Readers program, contact Caroline Adolpho, Molokai administrator, at (808) 567-9050 during office hours or email caroline.adolpho@hawaii.edu.


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