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Past Events

Mahalo for joining our 36th Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, that took place on May 17th, 2014!

Mahalo  to Hawaii Hotel, Lodging Association, and T.J. Max for being our awesome sponsors for the   36th Annual Visitor Industry CHARITY WALK,  that took place on Saturday, May 17, 2014!! Hawaii Literacy would also like to thank friends and family that has contributed their time attending the Charity Walk. The CHARITY WALK is a statewide event that raises support to benefit Hawaii’s charitable organizations.


We hope to see you again next year!



Our magical Harry Potter-themed 6th annual Volunteer Recognition Event (VRE) was our opportunity to thank our many volunteers who graciously donate their time to all of Hawaii Literacy’s Programs, from tutoring adults in our Adult Literacy and English-Language Learner Programs to helping kids in our Family Libraries and Bookmobile. To all of our volunteers – we are so grateful for all of your time and dedication!

After being sorted into houses and a rousing game of Wizard Bingo to get our volunteers mingling (though “Expecto Patronus!” was shouted instead of “bingo!”), Muggles and wizards alike enjoyed a fantastic meal, volunteers of the year were recognized, and Scott Simon, the President of Hawaii Literacy’s Board of Directors, closed the event.

From all of us here at Hawaii Literacy, thank you again to all of our volunteers for your hard work and dedication!

We also wish to thank the following businesses in our community whose generous donations  made this event possible (and delicious!)sponsorsThank you for helping us thank our volunteers!



Thank You Yelp Helps 2013!yelphelps

We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in Yelp Help’s Nerdy Dancing Party, which benefited Hawaii Literacy and other local non-profit organizations. The event was an amazing success, with lots of refreshments, good music, great company, and, of course, lots of nerdy dancing. Mahalo nui loa to Yelp for organizing and running the party, all the hardworking vendors for the food, drinks, and other goodies, and the Yelp Elite and community for coming out and supporting Hawaii Literacy and the other non-profits! With everyone’s support, we are able to continue to help adults and keiki gain knowledge and life skills through learning how to read and write.

Don’t forget to check out some awesome pictures of the night, taken by Kat Wade, at Honolulu Pulse.



Pizza Hut Literacy Cards!

Thank you for supporting Hawaii Literacy and local literacy programs with the the Pizza Hut Literacy Cards fundraiser. The vouchers were available for $10  at our main office and with the staff members. With your voucher, you could redeem a Pizza Hut Literacy Card at any of the participating Pizza Hut Restaurants.

Your card gave you:

  •  A second pizza for FREE if you buy 1 medium or large pizza
  • Get up to (5) FREE pizzas for every visit
  • No limit to how many times it is used

The Pizza Hut Literacy Card was good for DELIVERY, Dine-in, AND carry-out orders. The card is valid one year after the card is punched.

Your purchase helped support Hawaii Literacy and local Literacy programs, and you got to enjoy free pizza! We look forward to next year’s fundraiser!


View the Pizza Hut Literacy Flyer



Mahalo for supporting our 5th Annual Pau Hana Block Party!

Hawaii Literacy’s 5th Annual Pau Hana Block Party at Murphy’s Bar & Grill was a great success and we are so grateful for all the time, effort, and hard work everyone put into the event to make it a memorable one! Thanks to our volunteers, sponsors, and donors everyone was able to enjoy good food, live music, and a silent auction, all while helping Hawaii Literacy continue to increase education and literacy in our communities. We couldn’t have done it without you all!

Check out some spectacular pictures of the event, taken by Joah Buley, at Honolulu Pulse.


12 Avenue Grill Supports Hawaii Literacy!

The owners of 12th Avenue Grill have a long history of supporting their local community, by promoting local, sustainable ingredients and by helping those that help others. Hawaii Literacy washonored to be chosen as a beneficiary for Summer Beer Monday, on Monday, July 15th at 12th Avenue Grill in Kaimuki.

12th Avenue Grill raised a glass and a fork to help Hawaii Literacy onJuly 15th by donating a dollar for every Big Island Brewhaus Golden Sabbath Belgian style ale & Beer pairing special sold! The special for that week wasa Cioppino made with fresh local fish and a special Dessert of Manoa Honey Pot de Creme w/caramelized plum compote, each paired with a special beer from award-winning Big Island Brewhaus.

Summer Beer Mondays happened every Monday in July, with new specials and beer pairings.




Volunteer Recognition Event

Our 5th annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner came with a Dr. Seuss twist. It was a great evening of bonding, games and prizes, but most especially the recognition of our hardworking and kindhearted volunteers. We are extremely fortunate to have these people help the adults and keikis of our local programs. In 2012, 323 Hawaii Literacy volunteers gave over 8,100 hours, plus thousands in donations and in-kind items.

This event would not have been possible without the generous donations from the following businesses in our community:



The members of the 2011 Class of Forty Under 40, a group of young business and community leaders honored each year by Pacific Business News, selected Hawaii Literacy as beneficiary of their first ever Class community service project. Members of the Forty Under 40 Class and Aloha Air Cargo (www.alohaaircargo.com) committed to raise funds for and custom build new bookcases and shelving for the Family Library at Kuhio Park. Hawaii Literacy’s Family Library had moved to a new space in one of Kuhio Park’s Towers last fall, and the old donated bookshelves did not work well in the new space.

“We wanted to do something to support the community that would make a concrete difference for local keiki in need,” explained Johnny Hobayan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Aloha Air Cargo and one of the members of the Forty Under 40 class. “When we saw all that the Family Library was doing with limited space, we saw a chance to really help this program. With custom bookcases that fit the library space, the children can have a beautiful and exciting learning environment with a wider selection of books.”


Board Site Visit

On April 6th, 2013, new and current members of the Board of Directors were invited to tour all the programs and sites served by Hawaii Literacy’s programs, to have the chance to talk with those learning to read and write and see first hand what happens each day in our programs.

Board members new 2013 Board members Brandon Kurisu and Jason Fujita joined current members Rachel del Rosario and James Wong for a tour of English Language Learners program and Drop-In Center, the Kuhio Park Family Library, and enjoyed a special visit from the Bookmobile for the keiki at Kuhio Park. As Board member Jason Fujita said, “Seeing the programs really helps you understand what the needs are and why we volunteer on the Board.” “The kids have so many needs and are eager for everything the Library had to offer– books, knowledge, attention. It just made me want to do more to help.” added Brandon Kurisu.


(From left to right) Rachel del Rosario, Tamara Martinez (in back), Jason Fujita, Brandon Kurisu (kneeling), and James Wong with youths and families at Kuhio Park.

(From left to right) Jason Fujita, Brandon Kurisu, Tamara Martinez (Family Library Program Manager), Rachel del Rosario, and James Wong with youths at Kuhio Park Family Library.


Mahalos to Heidi for 25 years of service in the Adult Literacy program… 

About 60 current and former Adult Literacy tutors, Adult Literacy program students, current and former members of the Board of Directors, and friends of the Adult Literacy program gathered for a farewell party for Heidi Byrne and a celebration of her 25 years leading the Adult Literacy program  on Thursday, February 28th at the Gallery at Arts at Marks Garage.

Heidi had led the Adult Literacy program since 1988, until she decided to retire this year. This evening was held to celebrate Heidi’s great work and impact over 25 years, and to recognize and reconnect with past and present Board members, volunteers, tutors, students, and staff, who together have helped thousands of adults in need learn to read and write.

The evening included an ono pupu buffet and beverage station generously donated by Grace’s Inn, Pizza Hut Hawai’i, Hokulani Bake Shop, Southern Wine & Spirits, Barefoot Wines, KOHA Foods, and  parting gifts of new local book titles like “A literary lei” and “Honolulu Stadium” were given to each guest compliments of Watermark Publishing. During the program, Board of Directors President Scott Simon of Hawaiian Telcom noted how Heidi had been the face of Hawaii Literacy for so many years, helping over 4,000 adults become more literate. One current student shared how Heidi has encouraged him and matched him with a wonderful tutor who is helping him obtain his CBASE high school equivalency, and a former student also spoke about how Heidi never gave up on her, even when she doubted herself, and how along with her tutor, that led to her eventually enrolling in college courses. This student also recently became only the second Adult Literacy student to themselves become a certified tutor who is now teaching someone else to read and write.  

Hawaii Literacy and Heidi’s legacy were honored with dozens of donations from individuals who attended and from those who wished to be there in spirit. Mahalo to all for helping to make this evening so special and recognize all Heidi has done with Hawaii Literacy to give every adult on the island a second chance to learn to read and write.


Come Join us

in our Veteran’s Day Celebration & Children’s Book Signing at Walgreens Wahiawa

This Veteran’s Day weekend, join Walgreens Hawaii and Voicemaster Advertising for a free family-friendly event honoring the Military community!

Hawaii’s beloved Children’s Book Author Jerilyn Ito, whose books are sold in all Hawaii Walgreens Stores, and currently being marketed across the United States, will be there to sign her two latest books: Finding Our Ohana and Double Rainbow Island!  A portion of proceeds from sales of both books are given to Hawaii Literacy’s Adult and Family Literacy programs.

There will be FREE cotton candy, popcorn, shave ice, beverages, face painting, balloon tying, a Keiki Jumper, ‘Live’ entertainment, over $3,000.00 in prizes, and FREE MONEY for the Keiki via our ‘Ohana Coin Grab’! PLUS, Walgreens Hawaii will be making a generous donation to Hawaii Literacy!

Bring the whole family and enjoy a free celebration to honor Hawaii’s Military Families!

Bookmobile at site
The Bookmobile will be at the event from 11:30am – 1:30pm, and will be open for visits.

About Jerilyn Ito

Jerilyn Ito was raised in Kailua, Hawai’i, a graduate of Kailua High School, The University of Hawai’i School of Nursing, and has a Master’s degree in Organizational Change from Hawai’i Pacific University.

Jerilyn currently resides in Honolulu, Hawai’i, where she enjoys every moment with her two young children and continues with a career in Nursing at The Veterans Administration, while moving forward with her dream to bring fun, family friendly stories, to the children of America.


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