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Hawaii Rotary celebrates Dr. Seuss with ‘5 Million Words Challenge’

By Staff | Feb 2, 2017

LAHAINA – “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, 2017, and Rotarians across Hawaii are celebrating his birthday with the “5 Million Words Challenge.”

Taking place from Feb. 27 to March 3, 2017, the week-long program is a partnership between Hawaii Rotary District 5000, the Department of Education, State of Hawaii and Hawaii First Lady Dawn Ige, who together are making it possible for volunteers to read Dr. Seuss books to every first grade class in public and charter schools across the state.

On Maui and throughout the islands, volunteers will read one to two stories per day, per classroom, to reach five million words. The challenge reinforces global literacy initiatives and honors the work of Dr. Seuss, whose more than 60 books set a new standard in children’s publishing.

“Dr. Seuss used beautiful illustrations and clever rhymes to convey thoughtful social messages that resonate with children and adults alike,” said Rotary District 5000 Literacy Chair Liz May.

“We are excited to bring his imaginative, fun stories to first grade classrooms across Maui and the state,” she said.

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.

“With the ‘5 Million Words Challenge,’ Hawaii Rotarians can help develop children’s literacy skills and encourage positive interaction through shared reading,” said May. “We think Dr. Seuss would be proud to know that his books continue to make a difference in the educational lives of children in Hawaii and across the world.”

For more information on how you can volunteer to read Dr. Seuss to first grade classes on Maui during the week-long “5 Million Words Challenge,” contact May at liz5a@aol.com.