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Hundreds of books given away at Read Across America event

LIHU‘E — More than 200 books were given away to families attending the Read Across America literacy event at Kukui Grove Center on Saturday.

Elyse Litvack, co-founder of Kumu’s Cupboard, a resource center for Kaua‘i educators, partnered with Sheila Bradley of PaperPie to distribute a free book, excluding activity books to a value of $10 each, to each child taking part in the daylong event.

The collaborative effort also counted as a fundraising event for Kumu’s Cupboard where proceeds from book sales would help replenish reading material for teachers. Members of the Kaua‘i Lions Club assisted the corps of volunteers in helping families with their selection of books set up along the wall behind the food court stage.

“We’ll be doing this at the end of the month when the Easter Bunny visits The Shops at Kukui‘ula,” Litvack said.

Children and families at the event were treated to guest celebrity readers like Kaua‘i County Council members Felicia Cowden and Bernard Carvalho Jr., who accepted an offer to wear a Dr. Seuss hat for the reading.

The Kaua‘i Association for Family and Community Learning hosted children and families to a where would you like to go reading activity with the most common destinations included Disneyland and Legoland.

That set the stage for the day’s entertainment with visits by the Showtime Characters’ Winnie the Pooh ‘ohana that included Eeyore and Tigger, too. The trio of furry creatures led the young people through several sessions of jumping, hopping, skipping and singing as a break from reading, coloring and other literary activities.

“These are characters (who) were inspired by a story,” said Melissa McFerrin Warrack, the special events coordinator at Kukui Grove. “If we’re lucky, we might get a preview of the leprechaun as a preview for St. Patrick’s Day that falls on March 17.”

The leprechaun was preoccupied, but in its stead, the audience was treated to a performance by Mary Lardizabal and the Kapa‘a Middle School ‘ukulele band, which is preparing to leave for competition in California.

Animals other than the Winnie the Pooh ‘ohana took the stage from the Kalaheo Elementary School Drama Club that included students from Grade three through five with a preview of the school’s upcoming musical production in May.

Next on tap at Kukui Grove Center is a kendama tournament on Saturday. The event is being coordinated by Bubbah’s Toy Box and starts at 11 a.m.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer can be reached at 808-245-0453 or
Source: The Garden Island

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