Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Children's Book Week on Kauai

Children’s Book Week is celebrated from May 13-19 in 2013. This year, the Kauai Children’s Authors Guild is doing something a little different. Members are working to develop a day devoted to literacy on Kauai. This project is in the early stages of development, but Guild members hope to gain support and partner with other agencies around the island and the state as they get closer to a date sometime next year.

The Kauai Children’s Authors Guild recognizes the importance of early childhood education and the need to support literacy efforts on Kauai. The Guild is proposing the creation, proclamation, and designation of a day devoted to promoting literacy on Kauai. For now, we are calling this day, “Read Across Kauai Day,” but it could also be called “Kauai Literacy Day.” We would like to model this day after the efforts of organizations like Jumpstart and First Books, Read for the Record, and Read Across America Day.

The idea is to partner with a non-profit agency to help raise funds for the purchase and distribution of children’s books by Kauai authors to preschool and kindergarten students attending schools on Kauai. Why not just any books? Guild members feel that the impact of meeting and interacting with local authors far surpasses just handing a child a book. However, the Kauai Children’s Authors Guild will also be partnering with other organizations like KART (Kids are Readers Too Foundation) to provide additional books to the children that may not be written by local authors, but could be read and delivered by local authors.

The effort would be to raise awareness about the importance of both literacy and early childhood education. Children that are sent home with books would be given information about the program and would be encouraged to read books with their parents. Members of the Kauai Children’s Authors Guild would be available to appear in schools to read their books to children on the day of the event. When an author interacts with a child, there becomes a personal connection with the book. Allowing children to actually meet and interact with local authors can make a further impact on the children about literacy, not just about reading but also about encouraging creativity through writing and artistic expression.

The goal for the first year is to raise enough funds to put 500-1000 books in student’s hands. For future years, the goal is to get a book to every preschool and Kindergarten student on Kauai.

Any nonprofit agency, literacy organization, retailer, volunteer, or corporate sponsors that would like to help the Kauai Children’s Authors Guild put books into the hands of children is encouraged to contact the Guild at