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Help Book Trust Hawaii reach more Maui keiki

By Staff | Oct 15, 2009

Last year, 2,898 children in Maui County received 50,000 books. These keiki were enrolled in Book Trust Hawaii, a literacy program that serves federally assisted children in the county’s 20 public elementary schools.

The impact of the program is tremendous.

 A third grade teacher from Kihei Elementary School commented, “Book Trust taught my students the value of reading! They came to class ready to discuss how great a book was and how they read it to another, be it a parent, grandparent or sibling. I am so thankful this program is here for them.”

With West Sider Debbie Fitts leading the charge this school year, Book Trust Hawaii wants to grow enrollment to 3,400 eligible children and distribute 60,000 books to these kids.

The nonprofit organization is reaching out to the community in a sponsorship drive through Nov. 1. Board members will speak with service groups and meet with potential corporate sponsors to seek contributions.

A gift of $70 will sponsor a child’s book selections for the whole school year, and a donation of $2,500 could fund book choices for an entire grade level for the year.

Literacy is vital to a child’s future. Poverty can prevent children from accessing books, which reinforce literacy skills at home and help young readers develop academic skills.

Book Trust enriches the literacy culture of needy families by providing children the opportunity to pick, own and delight in books (an average of 2-3 books each month during the school year).

 These selections build a home library, bring a lifetime of benefits and change a child’s life.

“They (books) make me want to read more. They teach me new things about our world and the people. Sometimes they remind me of my family,” a Book Trust student said.

For more information, visit www.booktrust.org or contact Fitts, Book Trust Hawaii coordinator, at (808) 298-1225 or dfitts@booktrust.org.