“Hi, Aunty! Hi, Aunty!” The voices of 20 preschool students filled the air as I entered their classroom. “What books are you going to read us today?” “Are you going to read us the one about the penguin again? I liked that one!”
Once a month, I visit the classrooms of four Headstart Programs across the island --- Wahiawa Elementary, Kaala Elementary, Kipapa Elementary, and Salt Lake Elementary. As a retired elementary school librarian, I cherish the opportunity to be able to continue to share the joy found in reading and books by reading aloud to classrooms of three to five year olds. I capture their attention, hearts, and minds by pairing up a fiction book with a nonfiction book. In November, the children listened to A House for Hermit Crab (Carle), then shared what they knew about crabs and learned some other facts about them from a nonfiction book about crabs. In December, the children listened to A Christmas Wish for Corduroy (Freeman) and learned more about bears, then got an extra treat: free books to fill the shelves of their home libraries.
I am so thrilled and fortunate to be a part of the Ohana 100 family that provides the gifts of literacy to the children of Hawaii through read-alouds and book giveaways. As I pack up to leave, the clamor of little voices fill the classroom, “Bye, Aunty!” “Bye Aunty!” and the students rush in to give me a big hug. In return, I call out, “Goodbye, my friends! See you next month!!
Mahalo to our volunteers for your dedication and continued commitment in helping Hawai'i and New York keikis! We are honored that you are part of our Ohana!