Jed Gaines, CEO/Founder/Presenter: Founded Read Aloud America in 1995, a non-profit educational organization devoted to promoting literacy and bonding families through the love of reading. Since 1987, Jed has taught in classrooms throughout the state of Hawaii and has made numerous presentations to parents, students, teachers, and librarians worldwide.
The organization's Read Aloud Program, known as RAP, was created by Jed, Marion Coste, an award-winning book author, and Jim Harstad, former Chair of the English Department at the University High School. Each program averages 300 adults and children.
Since 1999, Jed and the hundreds of volunteers of Read Aloud America have read to audiences totaling over 348,000 at 94 of Hawaii's elementary and middle public schools. Read Aloud America's RAP program is the largest and most effective family literacy program in America!
Joanne Laird, Program Director/Maui Presenter: Joanne is a retired teacher and school administrator from school districts in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was President of the Rotary Club of Kihei Sunrise and now serves as Assistant District Governor for nine Rotary clubs on Maui. In her "spare time" she dances hula with and Halau Hula Kauluokala.
Joanne got involved with RAP while assisting Larry in his role as Maui Site Coordinator at Kihei School and first became a Parent Trainer/Presenter at Paia School in the Fall of 2009. Currently she serves as the Program Director and the Assistant Training Director for Read Aloud America.
Gino Pascual, Oahu Presenter: Born and raised on Oahu, Gino grew up in Waipahu. After graduating high school, Gino ventured off and joined the Army Reserves. He returned to Oahu to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Leeward Community College. While attending college, he performed in a few local theater productions around town then abruptly left Hawaii for the 9th Island of Las Vegas.
Life was a blur for Gino as he was traveling back and forth between the Mainland and Hawaii. Gino became a flight attendant for United Airlines in the late 90’s. An occasional traveler, he nearly completed visiting 49 of 50 states with the help of his job at the time. It wasn’t until the epic turn of events of 9/11, which changed his career and refocused himself back in Hawai’i.
Timothy Shim, Past Maui Presenter/Guest Presenter: Timothy is a born and raised Maui boy. He completed his primary education at Kihei Elementary and Lokelani Intermediate, then left Maui to attend Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama in Honolulu. He then graduated from Santa Clara University where he received his B.A. in Spanish Studies and later acquired a M.A. in Educational Administration from San Jose State University.
He lives and worked in San Jose, California as a middle school teacher and vice principal. He and his family of three relocated to his home island of Maui and he is currently Principal and Kalama Intermediate School.
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