Your dedicated efforts are needed to help improve the literacy rate among inner city families in Honolulu. The primary goal of this program is to help parents with low-level literacy skills to become more active in their young children's learning. A major focus of the program includes reading, and other educational / recreational activities to help develop reading and motor skills. Meanwhile, parents are brought into the process as well. Parents are encouraged to see themselves as the child's first teachers, and receive the skills and the confidence they need to feel comfortable in this role.
Located in the heart of downtown Honolulu, surrounded by high-rise buildings and a bustling business district, is a section of low-rent government housing. This housing project experiences its share of social and domestic problems. To combat some of the social ills felt by children in the project, this non-profit organization has rented out a unit and turned it into a community center. Interns in this project are asked to wear a number of different hats, all in the interest of helping the children. Many of the children in the center are neglected at home, and are, therefore, incredibly appreciative of any attention offered by staff. Here, there is a real opportunity to impact young lives.
There are an estimated 154,000 functionally illiterate adults in Hawaii (19% of the adult population). In the residential area covered by this program, the rate is an astounding 32%. Consider the implications for adults that cannot complete job applications, read warning labels, vote, or play a role in their children's education. Statistics are clear and disturbing, drawing direct links between illiteracy and social problems, such as welfare, poor job performance, substance abuse, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, and crime. Improving literacy skills is an important first step towards improving the quality of life for many affected Hawaii residents. This is grassroots social advocacy with special emphasis on the children.
This is a great way to gain insight into Hawaii's diverse culture. The children tend to come from Philippines, Hawaiian, Samoan, and other Pacific Island groups. You will hear Pidgin English from both the children and the parents.