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Who We Are


Our mission is to help people gain knowledge and skills by providing literacy & lifelong learning services.


We believe that literacy is at the core of having the opportunity for a better life, and that it is never too late for an adult to learn to read and write. We believe that well-trained and dedicated volunteers can successfully teach adults to read and write. We believe that parents are their children’s first and best teachers, and that parent and family support can help any parent, regardless of literacy level, help their child succeed. We believe that greater literacy builds stronger families and communities.


Myrtle Lee    Harry Chun-Hoon

Hawaii Literacy began in 1971 when two people who had received Mainland training in the Laubach method (Harry Chun-Hoon and Myrtle Lee) contacted Laubach Literacy Action in Syracuse, New York for help in organizing a volunteer tutoring program in Hawaii. The first workshop was presented by a tutor trainer from New York.  The newly-trained tutors began tutoring in the Kalihi area.  The program was incorporated in 1972 and received tax-exempt status in 1973. The emphasis was on English as a Second Language (ESL.) By 1979 there was a total of over 80 tutors who had worked with more than 250 students on Oahu and the Big Island.  Since then Hawaii Literacy has offered various services on many of the islands in our state.  There is now an Adult Literacy program on Oahu and a fledgling Adult Literacy program on Kauai which provide assistance to more than 80 students at any given time; a Family Literacy program begun in 1990 which provides libraries other services to families in a few housing projects in the Kalihi area; an ESL program which offers small classes to adults in the housing projects in Kalihi;, a bookmobile (the “Classroom on Wheels”) which offers books, literacy-related activities, and computer use to several groups on the Waianae Coast; and an Adult Literacy Drop-in Center in Kalihi for adult students who have various literacy needs and/or are seeking ESL instruction.  Hawaii Literacy is seeking to expand its services to people on all of the islands; the emphasis is on working with the under-served adult population.

Officers and Board of Directors


  • R. Scott Simon, President, Executive Director of Corporate Communications, Hawaiian Telcom, Inc.
  • Brandon Kurisu, Vice President, Upspring Media
  • Daniel Ho, Treasurer, President, Hawaii Self Storage
  • Suzanne Skjold, Secretary, Executive Director, Hawaii Literacy, Inc.

Board of Directors

  • Mitchell Ka’aiali’i, Vice President and Area Manager, First Hawaiian Bank
  • Sean K. Knox, President, HI Employment
  • Shaun Salvador, Vice-President, Marketing & Communications, Hawaii Self Storage


  • Jason Masaki, D.S.R.
  • Gary R. Baumer, Retired Senior Officer, JPMorganChase
  • Rachel del Rosario, Owner, Managing Director, R21
  • G. Todd Withy, Law Office of G. Todd Withy
  • James A. Wong, Delta Construction
  • Jason Fujita, Hawaiian Telcom

Financial Resources and Funding

We are tremendously grateful for the strong and continued support of the following corporations, foundations, agencies, and individuals, for the vital financial and in-kind support and donations they provide to our programs and organization, and for the trust they place in us to bring greater literacy to those we serve and to help make our communities in Hawai’i stronger, better places for this and future generations. Mahalo!

  • 12th Avenue Grill
  • Aloha United Way
  • Atherton Family Foundation
  • Central Pacific Bank
  • City and County of Honolulu
  • First Hawaiian Bank
  • Friends of Hawaii Charities
  • German Benevolent Society
  • Harry & Nee Chang Wong Foundation
  • Hawaii Appleseed Center
  • Hawaii Community Foundation
  • Hawaiian Lotus
  • Honolulu Community Action Program
  • James and Abigail Campbell Family Foundation
  • Junior League of Honolulu
  • Kamehameha Schools
  • Knudsen Memorial Fund
  • The Kukui Children’s Center
  • Nohea Gallery
  • Pacific Guardian Center
  • Pettus Foundation
  • Pi Beta Phi Alumnae of Honolulu
  • Punahou School & Luke Center for Public Service
  • Rotary Clubs of District 5500
  • Rotary Hawaii District 5000
  • Servco Foundation
  • Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Foundation
  • Shidler Family Foundation
  • The Gift Foundation of Hawai’i
  • The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
  • The Koaniani Fund, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Foundation
  • The Rose Perenin Foundation
  • Visitor Industry Charity Walk
  • YELP! Hawaii








For Annual and financial reports please contact our main office.  For IRS Form 990, visit www.guidestar.org or contact our main office. Hawaii Literacy, Inc. is a private non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status. All donations are tax-deductible (Federal ID# 23 – 7198698).


Hawaii Literacy is pleased to partner with the following agency’s in our communities, and are grateful for their continued collaboration.

  • Aloha United Way
  • Hale Kipa, Inc.
  • Hawaii Food Bank
  • Hawaii Statewide Literacy Network
  • HeadStart Project
  • Heald College
  • Honolulu Community Action Program (HCAP)
  • Kokua Kalihi Valley
  • Kuhio Park Family Center
  • Kukui Children’s Center
  • Lei Hi’puu
  • PACT (Parents And Children Together)
  • Mayor Wright Housing Tenant Association
  • Palama Settlement
  • Pro Literacy Worldwide
  • Read To Me International
  • University of Hawaii Department of English
  • University of Hawaii Family Resources Program
  • YMCA Honolulu

Privacy Policy

Hawaii Literacy does not knowingly collect, track, distribute or maintain any personal information from visitors to our website.  Our site log may generate certain kinds of non-identifying site usage data, such as the number of hits and visits to our site, which may be used to provide better services to the public and may also be provided to others, but these statistics contain no personal information and cannot be used to gather such information.  For complaints or questions regarding our privacy policy, you may contact us at the above address.

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