Seven Maui Rotary Clubs Bring Dr. Seuss’ Birthday to Thousands of Students

March 17, 2017, 9:25 AM HST · Updated March 17, 10:06 AM

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Maui Rotarians joined forces to read the beloved author’s books to first grade students across the island as part of Hawaiʻi Rotary’s week-long “5 Million Words Challenge.”

From Feb. 27-March 3, 2017 the seven Rotary clubs of Kahului, Kīhei-Wailea, Lahaina, Lahaina Sunrise, Lahaina Sunset, Valley Isle Sunset and Wailuku shared the birthday celebration with 1,092 students on Maui and Molokaʻi.

Photo #2:  Alexis Dascoulias (Rotary Club of Kahului) is surrounded by 1st grade students at Lihikai School after reading aloud Dr. Seuss books.
Photo Courtesy

Participating schools were Ha‘ikū, Lihikai, Pu`u Kukui, Kīhei Elementary, King Kamehameha III, Princess Nahienaena, Maui Prep, Sacred Hearts and the four public elementary schools on the island of Molokaʻi.

Rotary members read aloud from two Dr. Seuss books in each first-grade classroom. The books were then presented to the teachers for their classroom libraries. At some schools, students made Dr. Seuss hats and received a booklet of Dr. Seuss activities to take home.


Lahaina Sunset Rotarian Jim Fahnestock found the volunteer experience worthwhile, “This program, like so many Rotary programs, provides rich rewards to the volunteers. I began to read a Dr. Seuss book to a wonderful class at Pomaikai Elementary School in Kahului.  But very soon, with the help of their caring teacher, the students took turns reading the book to me and I was amazed at their courtesy, energy and youthful enthusiasm,” he said. “I left my brief encounter feeling really good about this reading program and feeling really good about public education on Maui,” he added.

Liz May, Rotary District 5000 Literacy Chair, thanked Maui’s Rotarians. “Mahalo to all the Rotarians who read to children across the island for the “5 Million Words Challenge,” she said. “They are a testament to the island’s caring spirit and commitment to the educational development of the next generation.”

Nine of the 50 clubs that make up Rotary District 5000 are located on Maui and Lānaʻi. Rotary is a leadership organization made up of local business, professional and civic leaders. For more information about Rotary clubs on Maui contact Larry Laird, Assistant District Governor, at: [email protected].



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