Volunteers pack 10,000 books to donate to Micronesia to increase literacy

Volunteers pack 10,000 books to donate to Micronesia to increase literacy
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

By Pono Suganuma
HNN Summer Intern

There was a flurry of activity at McKinley High School on Sunday.

Nearly 100 volunteers packed up 10,000 donated books, which will be sent to the Micronesian islands of Majuro and Yap.

Nainoa Mau works as the executive director for the Friends of the Library of Hawaii, which donated the remaining books from its annual summer sale to those in need in Micronesia. Mau said Micronesia doesn't have a good budget for books and is hopeful the books will spread knowledge and educate the people of the islands.

"Through Reach Out Pacific, we are sending the books to Micronesia to help build libraries and promote literacy there," Mau said.

Reach Out Pacific (REPAC) is a non-profit organization that sends supplies like books and medical supplies throughout Micronesia. REPAC organized the volunteers, which included football players from Farrington High School, and secured the two shipping containers that will carry the books to Majuro and Yap.

"It feels so awesome because even though I don't know these people," said Cierra Nakamura, volunteer coordinator for REPAC. "I know these books are going to do so much for their education and so much to improve their lives."

Nakamura explained Micronesia's education system is not as fast-paced as Hawaii's, and some schools there only have dial-up internet.

"These books are going to go a long way to help shelve these libraries in Micronesia," Nakamura said. "And because they have meager resources, these books are way more important than we actually think."

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