At Waipahu High, students are writing books to inspire younger kids in their communities to read

At Waipahu High, students are writing books to inspire younger kids in their communities to read

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seniors at Waipahu High School are putting their creative energy to work as authors and illustrators.

About 124 of them are participating in the Senior Literacy Project. They’re producing about two dozen children’s books.

“A student came up with this Literacy Project. She jokingly said, ‘Why don’t we create children’s books and read them to the elementary school students?’ I was like, ‘It’s fantastic! Let’s take it and let’s roll with that,’” teacher Rachel Domingo said.

The twelfth graders work in teams writing the stories and drawing the pictures. The books will be read aloud to kindergarten kids at three Waipahu elementary schools.

“Our book is basically about aliens trying to find themselves,” student Jay Cabangon said.

"It's about two friends. So our story is combining two worlds," Imee Subia said.

The books will be laminated, bound and given away to the children.

"They'll get to take them home. They'll color them. They'll interact with them, and they'll keep them in hopes that they will build literacy. It'll be cool and fun," Domingo said.

This is the second year Waipahu High School has done the Literacy Project.

Domingo and teacher Alice Flores oversee the work. Flores said helps high school students understand the impact they can have on young children.

"Seeing seniors who are usually disenchanted with reading, now they're inspired and excited about this project," Flores said.

The high school kids hope their stories inspire the kindergartners to want to read and practice the themes of their books like friendship, sharing and caring.

"Our books are obviously going to have a message to them, so I hope kids learn from that message and that they carry through with it," student Zjahron Pasion said.

The Literacy Project came out of a challenge from Waipahu High’s principal Keith Hayashi, to find ways to reach young children who will someday be enrolled at Waipahu High.

He urged senior students to encourage kindergarten students to get excited about learning.

Next month the books will be distributed to about 430 kindergarten kids at Kaleiopuu, Waikele and Waipahu elementary schools.

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