MARIE WOLF

Aloha! My name is Marie Wolf, and I feel blessed to have been with Ohana 100 for the past 10 months. I am proud to say that I was a stay at home mom for 20 years. When I decided to return to the work force I worked retail, and retired after 28 years. During those years I was very fortunate to have babysat my 9 nine beautiful grandchildren before they entered school. I myself am a mother of 4; 3 daughters and 1 son. I became a widow last July and found myself in need of activities to fill my day. I was introduced to Ohana 100 through the Amherst Senior Center and had no idea how this program was going to fill so much more than just my time. This program has filled my heart with so much joy, especially when the children respond to me with loving hugs and excitement to hear more stories.

In addition to having joined Ohana 100, I have been volunteering as a 6th grade religious education teacher at St. Christopher’s Parish for 29 years. I am also a lector for Sunday masses at St.Christopher Church as well. I enjoy volunteering at Williamsville North High School (where 2 of my grandchildren attend school) as a snack bar mom. Every Wednesday at Lindbergh Elementary, I work at the Lindy Mart, where students redeem tickets they have earned for good behavior. While I am there, I end my day helping my daughter in her 3rd grade classroom with any chores or preparation that needs to be done.

 As a mother of four children, I know the importance of encouraging children to read. When my children were little I was a library volunteer in their school.  Some of my fondest memories is snuggling and reading booksto my children as part of our daily bedtime routine. Some of my favoritre books I like to read to the children that we visit each week are Go Away Dog, Oliver the Elephant, and Carlos and the Librarian. My younger listeners enjoy pop-up books. I like to pass these books around after I read to let the children feel and see the pop up characters. I watch the expressions and excitement as they see the characters “come alive” and jump off the pages.  It is so satisfying to see the older listeners show interest as I spark their imagination and curiosity with a good book. Even the babies respond with looks of interest and alertness as I read. Not only does my heart melt with the children’s responses, but it also melts when the refugee mothers respond with body language that demonstrates excitement to my reading even though they can’t speak English. 

I love being an Ohana 100 volunteer! It is very satisfying and rewarding to be able to share the gift of reading with all the precious children and their families!

 

VOLUNTEERS IN ACTION is a special page to recognize Ohana100 Ambassadors who are making a difference in our communities. 

 

 

June/July 2017

KAREN SCHARFENSTEIN

I am currently retired after working 48 years for the Federal, State and County governments.  I started as an accounting supervisor for the Federal government.  After 23 years of working for the Feds, I was appointed by two governors in the communications department doing news releases and media advisories and handling the governors’ public appearances.  After the governors’ terms ended, I moved over to the City and County of Honolulu, working for a couple of city council members as a legislative aide doing research and handling constituent affairs.  Twenty five years later after working for the state and City and County of Honolulu, I retired.  I enjoyed my interesting jobs and enjoyed going to work each day.

 

Reading is always something I have enjoyed.  For over 40 years, I started reading to my two girls often volunteering in their classrooms, reading to the students or helping tutor them.  I then read to my 17 year old grandson, reading the same books I had saved and read to my children.  Today I still read the same books to our Ohana 100 children.

Some of my favorite books are:  Tiki Tiki Tembo, Where the Wild Things Are, the Musubi Man, Being Thankful, Clifford books, Fox in Socks, Cat in Hat. Horton Hears a Who, 5 Chinese Brothers, Green Eggs and Ham, Chinaman’s Hat, books on dinosaurs and dolphins, Honu the Scared Turtle, and many more.  My children come from the Kuhio Park Terrace (4 classrooms plus a baby class), August Ahrens Headstart (2 classrooms), Waipahu Community Center (1 classroom) and Palolo Headstart (3 classrooms).  I will miss them as they move up to Kindergarten, but am excited to meet new students next year.

My most memorable experience is hearing the excited voices of children calling out their greeting to me as they see me pull into a parking space near their classroom and hearing them say – “it is reading time again!!!!!!.”  These children never cease to amaze me with their wide berth of imagination – so creative, so positive, so eager to learn.  They contribute to the story in ways I never imagined. They often think outside the box and add on to the story making it more interesting often times adding their own experiences to the story.  It is so gratifying to have them perk up and play act during story telling. 

I enjoy rereading all the old stories I have known my whole life.  Meeting new people and the Ohana100 people especially. All of you have made by life circle complete.  Ohana100 you feel like real family and I enjoy the activities you have planned and have done.  You are truly an inspiration to all of us. 

My most memorable experience is hearing the excited voices of children calling out their greeting to me as they see me pull into a parking space near their classroom and hearing them say – “it is reading time again!!!!!!.”  These children never cease to amaze me with their wide berth of imagination – so creative, so positive, so eager to learn.  They contribute to the story in ways I never imagined. They often think outside the box and add on to the story making it more interesting often times adding their own experiences to the story.  It is so gratifying to have them perk up and play act during story telling. 

I enjoy rereading all the old stories I have known my whole life.  Meeting new people and the Ohana100 people especially. All of you have made by life circle complete.  Ohana100 you feel like real family and I enjoy the activities you have planned and have done.  You are truly an inspiration to all of us.

 

Of course trying to make a difference in the critical years of a child’s life and being able to turn their lives around through reading and making a difference and trying to help them succeed in their future lives is my dream come true.  It feels like I have won a pot of gold with each child that I can convert to becoming a reader.  And, of course, those warm wonderful loving hugs which are so priceless and speak more than words.

Thank you, thank you Ohana 100 leaders for giving me this opportunity to read to children and for teaching and mentoring me.

 

 

May/June 2017

CAROL ROCKFORD

After spending 40+ years in the financial workplace with an exhausting schedule plus a family life to maintain, I found myself retired with a lot of empty time!  I embraced the quiet time for a while until it became too quiet and too empty! 

Looking for meaningful volunteer work I came across Ohana 100 through the Clarence  Senior Center and it sounded very interesting.  After my first reading experience with them, I became very interested in the program and have continued volunteering. 

The children are amazing, fun and enthusiastic.  I was overwhelmed when recently reading and a child said "Miss Carol, I love you",  and other children wanted us to read even more stories.  It does truly warm the heart.  Some of my favorite stories are about  Elephant & Piggy, a series by Mo Williams.  The series is about two good friends and their daily adventures with attention to love, friendship and acceptance. 

I have definitely gotten way more out of this program then the time I've put into it~I'm so proud to be part of Ohana 100!!!.  

 

 

April/May 2017

AVA ALDERS

I am a student at UH West Oahu and a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. I am currently in a scholarship program which allows me to go to school full time, participate in cool training and exposure with the Coast Guard.  Eventually, I will commission into a Coast Guard Officer.  

I have been so lucky to have met so many incredible mentors who have guided me, and I can see how directly those mentors shaped my dreams and helped me believe in myself -  this is why I wanted to volunteer with young kids!  I love what I get to do, and I am so grateful to all the people and experiences which have helped me on my path here.

My reading experience prior to Ohana 100 was reading to my little brother when we were both kids. He is 3 years younger than me, so for the short period of time when I could read and he couldn't, I would read him stories before bed. I used to mess with him and change some of the words to his favorite stories, because I knew he would notice. I used to replace peoples name's with French Fry and Hamburger and silly words like that and he used to laugh so hard. I really cherish those memories!

I am currently reading to a group of 60 Head Start kids at Aiea Elementary.  I have two favorite things about reading to kids:  First, I get to read kids books again! Children's books are often hilarious, and I really enjoy going to the library and picking out funny books to bring to the school. Sometimes I think I enjoy the books more than the kids do. 

Second, I love talking to the kids when I'm reading and asking them questions. During a dramatic moment in our story I will ask them: "What do you think is gonna happen next?" - The answers they give me crack me up! Sometimes the guesses and predictions they make about the stories are so creative and funny! Its really always a surprise and I love hearing what they have to say. 

Overall, working with Ohana 100 has been awesome!  I think reading is SO important for kids, and being read to in a really engaging and fun way for kids to practice their focus and critical thinking skills. I feel really lucky to have found this awesome opportunity. 

 

March/April 2017

HILDE SMITH

As a youngster who could read at an early age I loved to read to other kids, recite poems and act out stories. My teaching career started in the American Dependents School in Frankfurt, Germany where I taught German to 2nd and 3rd grade students for two years before I came over here and ended up as a German teacher in High School. I loved my job and found it very satisfying. I fondly remember the younger children who were so responsive and attentive, and due to their younger age parroted my speaking with no accent noticeable when they spoke German. They even sang
" Silent Night" in German on the  American Forces Network ( Radio).

So -- when I learned at the Senior Center that they were looking for readers, I volunteered. Furthermore I wanted to find out about Ohana 100, since I knew that "ohana" means family.  I learned that on our trips to Maui.  

I have enjoyed my reading with you, often the children respond actively, wanting more than one book, and the best is when some step forward and give you a hug or wave to you.

 

 

 

Jan./Feb. 2017

LOIS TAGAMI

 “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!