Leeward Kids Want Their Bookmobile Back

LEEWARD COAST (KHNL) - A library on wheels has spread literacy to kids and adults on the Waianae Coast, but it's been immobile for about a month.

Kids at the Nanakuli Boys and Girls Club enjoy playing volleyball. They also love reading. They borrow books from Megan Na'ihe, who operates Hawaii Literacy's mobile library.

"It feels like she's teaching us how to read and stuff," said Josh Leonard, a 10-year-old bookmobile reader. "It feels like I'm just learning how to read."

"There's books for my grade and other grades to read," said Keaka Kaakau, another 10-year-old bookmobile reader. "And we can learn much more words."

And it's improving their self esteem.

"It makes me feel smarter than how I used to feel," said Malia Abordo, a 10-year-old bookmobile reader.

But since early December, the bookmobile has been sitting on this lot in Maili.

"The bookmobile broke down and it's beyond repair," said Megan Na'ihe, the Classroom on Wheels Program Coordinator for Hawai'i Literacy. "It won't even turn over now."

Besides engine problems, the van has cracks around the windshield and door. On a rainy day, water seeps in and Na'ihe gets soaked.

So she hopes someone will donate a van, so folks on the Leeward coast can once again use the bookmobile.

"That's a great feeling when you see a kid read out to a bunch of other little kids," said Na'ihe. "It's great to see the community learning and friendships building."

At the Boys and Girls Club, they agree.

"Actually most of these kids learned to spell from the bookmobile," said Leigh-Jordan Kaakua, an activities coordinator at the Nanakuli Boys and Girls Club. "I mean school yes, but because of the one on one interaction, they know better."

The kids can't wait to have their rolling library back.

"It'll be really good," said Kaylah Kikila, a 14-year-old bookmobile reader. "All the kids here can learn to read and get through school and stuff like that."

"It means a lot, very much," said Leonard. "I just love reading now."

And through learning, they hope to inspire others.

"It makes me more focused because I could be a role model for other kids," said Kaakau.

To learn more about Hawaii Literacy, click on the link on this page.