Our Newest: Kalihi Waena Elem

Kalihi Waena joined our RIF program as our 18th school! Along with our other schools, we’ll be visiting their students two more times this year, during our Winter and Spring distributions. Lots more fun, free books, and pride of ownership to go around!

Welcome …

Summer Break is coming to an end, and RIF volunteers are looking forward to distributing books at our now-18 schools (this will be Kalihi Waena’s first visit) soon! Much to be done before then, but, as the ’60’s song says, “See you in September”!

Mahalos from students and schools

We successfully wrapped up our visitations for the school year, and have received many mahalo notes from the students.

Schools this year have told us:

“The volunteers .. have not only inspired a passion for reading, but also helped to cultivate important skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and empathy. It is so important to encourage a love of reading in children, and the volunteers do an outstanding job of engaging our students and making the reading experience both fun and educational. Their dedication and commitment to promoting literacy are truly admirable, and we are so grateful for everything they do.”

“[The students] get so excited when they know that our valuable and hardworking RIF volunteers will be on campus because they know that after the book talks are done, they’ll each get to choose their own book to keep. It’s funny because that’s when they all start to sit up straight, trying their hardest to behave so they’ll get first pick of all these wonderful books! The RIF program not only sparks our students’ interest in reading, but it also helps them to become better readers.”

RIF volunteers thoroughly enjoyed their times with students, after having to stay away for so long due to the pandemic. See you next school year!

Ma’ili Elementary Enjoys RIF’s Visit

Students and student helpers at Ma’ili Elementary were active participants in their RIF visitation, with the upper-grade helpers reading to the younger ones. Our RIF volunteers (who looked terrific in their ‘aloha’ wear) included a new recruit. We’re so grateful for all our volunteers, and are delighted when new ones choose to join us!

Read Across America

Tomorrow (March 2nd) is Read Across America Day! Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) hopes to unite readers … all across America … with a day dedicated to reading.

The day was established by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1998 to help get kids excited about reading. The day occurs each year on the birthday of beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss, so a perfect way to celebrate is to don a Seussian hat and read one his famous tales, like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. On National Read Across America Day, students, teachers, parents, and community members around the nation come together to read books and celebrate the joy of reading — join us!

Leihoku Welcomes RIF

Leihoku Elementary went above and beyond to welcome RIF volunteers to their school the other week! In addition to the incredible screen and signs, classes presented them with lei, thank you notes, and cookies.

The 5th grade student volunteers above meet weekly to plan and work on things, such as RIF visitations. Mahalo to all!

We’re back in person!

After not being able to visit our schools during the pandemic, we have finally resumed our book distributions in person instead of dropping off books three times a year. We added a new school, Fern Elementary, so they’re new to our program, but if any third graders at our other schools recall RIF reading to them in classrooms and giving them books, they would have been kindergarteners at the time. It’s so nice to be able to see children’s faces again as they actively participate in our visits and select their free books at the end of the session.

Fern Elementary volunteers with student helpers; Kalihi Elementary; Nanaikapono Elementary

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Donation

On a beautiful sunny day recently, these ladies of the Lambda Chi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority presented RIF with a generous $500 donation at the Hoakalei Country Club in Ewa Beach. One of their members is a teacher at Kamaile Elementary, a school that RIF Honolulu serves. Some other members who are retired might be interested in volunteering with RIF.

Fun tidbit: The Lambda Chi Omega Chapter was chartered on March 24, 1978 in Honolulu, the same year RIF Honolulu was founded!
L to R: Latitia Byrant (AKA/LCO former president), LaTonya Conkleton (AKA/LCO vice-president), Susan Fuller (RIF Honolulu president), 
Faye Haraguchi (RIF Honolulu web admin), Tabidrik Reed (AKA/LCO recording secretary) 

Happy Holidays!

The national RIF organization sent us this card, saying, “Thank you for joining with Reading is Fundamental to spread the JOY of reading this season and all year long.”