Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi inspires, encourages literacy for young students

Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi inspires, encourages literacy for young students

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By: Jennifer Wong

Olympic Gold Medal figure skater, Kristi Yamaguchi, visited Linapuni Elementary School to help students get excited about reading.

She read her book, “Dream Big, Little Pig,” as part of a partnership between her Always Dream Foundation, Raising a Reader program, the Hawaii State Department of Education and Hawaii P-20.

"We know that reading is the cornerstone for a child's success in education as well as in life so we really wanted to try and make an impact there," Yamaguchi said.

Kalihi Kai Elementary will also be participating in the joint program.

The goal was to promote literacy to elementary school students who live in communities with limited access to books and technology, and to encourage family members to get involved and actively read with their child.

Karen Lee, PhD, is the Executive Director for the Hawaii P-20 Initiative and says that the partnership provides a greater opportunity for students to attend higher education.

"All the research that we've seen shows that students need to be able to read on grade level by grade three and to have access to books, real books, as well as tablet readers, contributes a long way to getting our kids there," Lee said.

Each student received a red bag filled with reading materials, including a digital reading tablet preloaded with e-books.

"It's a nice way for students to see the two platforms on how to read a book and also introduces them to technology," Yamaguchi said.

The program is expected to impact more than 100 elementary school students in Hawaii.

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