Maui News

MEO Head Start receives 1,000-plus books from Barnes & Noble drive

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(Left to Right): Mateo Leon holds up books given to MEO Head Start from the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive; Amanda Atlan, Lead Bookseller for Barnes & Noble in Kahului unboxes books for the drive; MEO Head Start preschooler Derek Kahalekai Jr. delves into his new “Trucks” book; Kailani Rae Kahoohanohano Sanchez shows off her new books.

More than 1,000 children’s books with favorites from Dr. Seuss, Llama Llama and more were presented to Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start preschoolers as the beneficiary of the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive.

There were board, paper and picture books in the boxes presented to MEO earlier in December. Customers to the bookstore in the Maui Marketplace in Kahului purchased children’s books for the drive.

About 150 children in Head Start on Maui and Moloka‘i received multiple titles with the remaining books to be distributed at parent meetings, said MEO Early Childhood Director Debbi Amaral.


Head Start offers preschool at no cost to low income families on Maui and Moloka‘i. Children who are homeless, in foster care and part of families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are given priority.

“The gift of books, which some of our families are unable to afford, could leave an imprint on a child for a lifetime,” said MEO CEO Debbie Cabebe in an agency press release. “Don’t we all have fond memories of our favorite childhood books from ‘The Ugly Duckling’ to ‘The Giving Tree.’ Thank you so much to the donors and Barnes & Noble for selecting MEO Head Start as the beneficiary of the Holiday Book Drive. MEO and our Head Start families are so grateful.”

Head Start is the first program established by MEO 57 years ago and is funded to serve 219 children. For more information about MEO Head Start, call 808-249-2988.


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