Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region
Report to Membership on 2017 Activities
Happy New Year to you all. The year has flown by again. It’s amazing to realize that FL-WR is entering our ninth year of encouraging literacy and love of reading in the community. As in past years, our enthusiastic volunteers have participated in many successful activities. We couldn’t do it without them.
This year we spruced up the bookmobile by fixing the steps (thank you Jim and Kathleen McCann), painting the pergola (thank you Bette and Kathleen), recovering the bench cushions, adding two new tire protectors, and adding a nanny cam, which we hope explains the decrease in vandalism. TJ rotates the wheels on a regular basis. This year we purchased books picked out by Alexandra Bernstein about famous women in history and current events – from Clara Barton to female sports stars the kids today would recognize. We also purchased books written for children to learn computer coding. And, of course, we couldn’t operate the bookmobile without our dedicated volunteers: Derry Morris our chairperson, Gloria Drinen, Kaye Hegrenes, Melody Hills, Lynne Mclaren, Elna Pendleton and Dan Reimer. They shelve donated books, decide which ones to keep and which to exchange with Kona Bay Books for ones we need, help members of the community who visit the bookmobile, and keep it clean.
We purchased eleven Chromebooks for the Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School library this year, and five Chromebooks for the Kealakehe High School library; programs arranged by Vivian Green to enhance their students access to ebooks and resource materials. In order to encourage our Waikoloa Middle School graduates to continue to do well in school, we presented all of them with a beautiful journal and pen set, as well as a card, to send them on their way.
We continued our participation in programs such as Foodland’s Give Aloha and Amazon Smile; we participated in the Mauna Lani Charity Trees event, organized by Vivian Green (we won third prize); we organized our eighth annual 5K Walk/Run for Literacy with over 100 participants, organized by Bette Green, Kathleen McCann and Mali Mueller; we held a Silent Auction, chaired by Cindy Kennedy and Stephanie Stearns, with over ninety items, including some in our new Ohana Drawing – specifically geared to children and organized by Kathleen McCann. We also held a quilt drawing (thank you again, Waikoloa Sew N Sews) and a wonderful interactive Health Fair put together by Vicki Coronel. We thank all the many volunteers who are needed to make these events happen. Financially, it was a good year and we will have the funds we need to continue providing literacy programs in 2018.
The Joseph E. Spadaro Memorial Scholarship had a difficult year in 2017. We had four new and continuing students drop out, and one student who was involved in a terrible car accident needed the summer and fall semester to recover. The good news is that one student did graduate in the Spring. The injured student is back in the program and a new auto mechanics student is doing very well. Thanks to Mary Spadaro, Bette and Ruth had the opportunity to meet with administrators and many of the instructors in the trades programs at the Hawaii Community College; we are now in closer communication with them to avoid some of the problems of the past. Bette and Ruth are looking forward to a new recruiting season this spring. While we administer the scholarship and contribute funds, the primary contributor is Luella Spadaro, in memory of her husband, through the Hawaii Community Foundation. Luella turns 100 in February this year, and Mary reports that she seems happier than she has been in years. We all wish her well in her 101st year!
This is the third year of our Baby’s First Book program, now chaired by Pat Cassel, who delivers the books as needed. We provide a board book called “On the Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier to all newborns at North Hawaii Community Hospital, getting them started on a lifelong love of reading. The hospital and the Family Birthing Unit nurses are most supportive of this program, which has been funded largely by grants the last two years, thanks to a generous donor and the County of Hawaii. We are now picking up the $3000 per year cost, but will be applying for another matching grant from Councilman Tim Richard’s discretionary funds.
In 2018 we are again a sponsor of the Newbery Quiz Bowl, which will take place in Hilo in April. The 2017 Quiz Bowl, at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, was very exciting with a visit from a Newbery winning author, Kwame Alexander, who was quizmaster and very entertaining. We purchased 120 copies of his latest book, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot and Score in This Game Called Life, to give to Quiz Bowl participants, and he autographed them all! The teams were so excited. This year, thanks to our intrepid leader, Vicki Coronel, we now have two teams that we sponsor – an elementary school one and a middle school team. Vicki meets with the students every week school is in session, providing leadership and encouragement to these young readers, who are challenged to read forty different books each year. Each book has been awarded the Newbery Medal for American children’s literature. We provide the students with Kindles and all the ebooks and paperbacks that they need to read.
Our English Language Learner program for adults has morphed this year into one for preschoolers. Provided by Vicki Coronel, our VP of Activities and Programs and a retired ELL teacher, the program helps these children, while having snacks and fun, learning their numbers, letters and colors, to be better prepared to enter school.
Thank you to Cathi Keene, Vice President of Finance, for keeping track of our finances again.
Thank you to Alexandra Bernstein, Vice President of Public Relations, for a wealth of publicity on all our events and activities this year.
Thank you to Vivian Green, VP of Grants and Fundraising and her helpers for making thank you and other beautiful cards for us, in addition to everything else she does for FL-WR. We wish her a speedy recovery from her back injury.
Thank you to Jessica Grinnell, VP of Information Technology, for maintaining our website and keeping our members informed by email and on all the social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, etc. – and wanting to stay with us even after she moved to the Island of Maui.
Thank you to Sharon DeVries for letting us store all our gear and supplies in her garage. It’s the first time we’ve had a place to keep everything together.
Thank you to Kathleen McCann, our Secretary, who is leaving our Board of Directors, after serving for 4 years, for taking such good minutes and supporting all our activities again this year.
And, finally, thank you to Lynne McLaren, Executive Vice President, who is also leaving our Board of Directors after serving for four years, for leading our meetings, and volunteering for so many tasks that need to get done.
Written by Ruth Bernstone, Past President