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Click to read the full article in the HiLUXURY magazine August/September 2013 edition
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December 28, 2012
Popular literacy program draws record crowd after budget cuts
By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email
WAIPAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than a thousand parents and children showed up at Waipahu Elementary School Thursday night, with the kids excited about reading.
The overflow crowd in the school cafeteria was there for "Read Aloud America." But despite the name, the program is only in Hawaii, and it's about more than just reading.
"It's not just a literacy program, although there are a lot of books involved. As you can see, the families all come out for it. But it's a program that helps parents understand how to talk to their children, and it's been a very successful program over the years," said Maryellen Markley of Read Aloud America.
But last year, the state cut $1.7 million in funding for Read Aloud America, or 95 percent of its budget.
"Until we lost our funding, we reached over 50,000 adults and children every year," said Jed Gaines, president of Read Aloud America. He said because of the cuts, there will be just two program this semester, in Waipahu and Kihei, Maui, instead of the usual 12. Most of the programs are aimed at schools that are in the economically hardest-hit communities.
The principal at Waipahu Elementary said the program was last at the school in 2008. He's glad to have it back, because it brings kids to the school with their parents. "That's the whole intent of the program, to build reading literacy, not just with students and the kids but as a family together, so the parents and the kids can develop some rituals and routines about reading at home," said principal Paul Taga.
There are volunteers who read to the kids in classrooms, while Gaines reads to the adults in the cafeteria to set an example for them to follow.
"A child is in school 900 hours a year, and at home, home vicinity, 78-hundred hours a year," Gaines said. "Until you change the attitudes and values of the home, you will never change our communities, our schools and our society."
There are bills in this year's legislature to restore the funding for Read Aloud America to provide the heavily-requested service to more schools in the 2012-2013 school year.
Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Your Views for Feb. 11
| Hawaii Tribune Herald
The Read Aloud America's Program (RAP) epitomized this accepted wisdom. It brought together students, parents, families, teachers, staff, administrators and ...
Click here for a pdf of this article
Star Advertiser 8/31/2011 - Child Literacy article - PDF: Give_kids_reading_help_they_need
Kapunahalas read aloud may be the last
Midweek: Read Aloud Program
Star Advertiser 6/13/2011: Budget_cuts_mean_tough_new_chapter_for_Read_Aloud_America
Big Island Weekly 2/23/2011 - RAP Rocks! Article by Yisa Var
Star Advertiser 2/6/2011: Read Aloud Program is a proud product of Hawaii
Star Advertiser 2/4/2011: Social service funding dries up
Click HERE to read the full article in pdf format.
|Read the article in the
Star Advertiser Op-Ed section: "Early education
must start with involved parents - and a good book"
Click here for the full article.
Multiple Grammy Award Winner Uncle George Kahumoku,
Jr. wows the crowd at Kula Elementary RAP Program.
"Read Aloud America's focus & achievements make it the most successful parent-education program of its kind in the U.S.," says Jim Trelease, one of the leading experts on education and literacy, in a letter all should read dated July, 2015. Click here
Read additional testimonials from a Makaha Elementary parent and a Barbers Point Elementary teacher/parent. Click here for more.
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