March 11, 2020

Ohana Readers Gives Free Books to Keiki on Lanai

Instilling a love of reading at an early age can set keiki up for success later in life. On Lanai, children under 5 years old can now get a head start with free books sent directly to them.

Thanks to Ohana Readers and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, keiki on Lanai can receive a new, carefully selected book each month in their family’s P.O. box.

Led by First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, nonprofits teamed up late last year to launch Ohana Readers on Molokai. After initial success, the team expanded the program to Lanai in 2020. Peggy Fink, branch manager at Lanai Public and School Library, said that 51 kids have already signed up for this no-cost opportunity.

“This excellent program encourages early literacy at home, giving parents and their keiki quality time to explore books and develop a love of reading,” said Fink.

Cultivating a love for reading

Dolly Parton’s father couldn’t read, so she recognized the power of literacy at an early age. In 1995, she launched the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for kids in her home county of East Tennessee to foster an early love of reading. The program began providing children with free, age-appropriate books each month. Today, over 1.5 million children across the world have registered to participate.

Ohana Readers is designated as an affiliate of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and a collaborative partnership with the Dollywood Foundation, the Office of the Governor, the State Department of Human Services, the Hawaii State Public Library System, State Representative Lynn DeCoite, Friends of the Library of Hawaii and nonprofit partners.

How to Register

Children under the age of five who are a resident of Lanai are eligible to participate in the program. Interested parents or guardians may go down to the library at 555 Fraser Avenue to fill out the form. Eight to 10 weeks after registration, children will begin receiving books in the mail every month until the child turns five or moves from Lanai.

For more information, contact the Lanai Public & School Library at (808) 565-7920.

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