What is RIF?
Reading Is Fundamental, Honolulu, Inc. (RIF-Honolulu) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves children in areas on Oahu.
• Encourages a love of reading through book ownership.
• Provides 16,000 books a year to K-3 students in under-resourced communities on Oahu.
• Is staffed entirely by volunteers.
100% of all contributions to RIF-Honolulu are used exclusively for our Oahu children’s reading program.
Kahalu’u Elementary’s Monkey Pod Tables and Benches
Many years ago, Uncle Eldean Kukahiko lived across the street from Kahalu’u Elementary School. He attended the school as a boy, and through the years his family stayed close to the school, and his grandchildren also attended.
Uncle Eldean was a pastor and kupuna at the school, befriending both students and teachers, as well as teaching ukulele. Several years ago a large monkey pod tree, planted in the 1960s on the campus, blew over during a storm. Uncle Eldean had an idea.
He got permission from the city to harvest the tree and use the wood. The school’s parent community helped him find a wood worker who sawed and milled the wood into planks. Uncle Eldean decided to teach his best friend, Peter Fields, how to turn the planks into tables and benches.
This was a lucky decision, because half-way through the project, Uncle Eldean passed away. The tables, benches, and poi boards were completed by Peter Fields at the Parks and Recreation area in Kahalu’u.
Now, two lovely long tables and four benches grace the Kahalu’u Elementary School Library with their beautiful shapes and rich grain.
The students sit at them every day, and the RIF volunteers especially like coming to Kahalu’u Elementary to sit at the tables, and to look over books and enjoy the delicious snacks provided by Ms. Kobashigawa and Mr. Nakaoka. Students in every grade pound poi on the beautiful monkey pod poi boards twice each year, led by Uncle Eldean’s wife, Aunty Darlene.
- Sep 06, 2020
- Apr 29, 2020
Free informational book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler
- Mar 24, 2020
With schools and libraries closed, there are still ways for children to access hundreds of books – and the first month of Skybrary is free! Skybrary is a carefully curated digital library of interactive books and educational videos designed for young readers. Previously offered through LeVar Burton Kids, it has found a new home with RIF.
- Mar 01, 2020
Each year, National Read Across America Day (now called Dr. Seuss Day) is celebrated on March 2nd, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The annual event is an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.
Great ways to inspire reading in children include:
- Keep books everywhere you spend time. Put them in the car, in every room of the house and tuck them in backpacks and purses. Make them easily accessible.
- Visit the library often. Knowing how to use the library and learning the benefits of a library fosters a love of reading as well as a genuine respect for the services libraries provide.
- Get caught reading. Children imitate what they see the adults around them do. Whether they see you read a magazine, newspaper or novel, let them know reading is the cool thing to do.
- Read to your children. No matter their age, reading aloud strengthens their vocabulary and language skills. It also opens up opportunity for discussion.
- Have your children read to you, too. You never know what you might learn!