By Leland Kim
LEEWARD COAST (KHNL) - Leeward coast children finally get their bookmobile back, after a five-month absence.
We first heard about Hawaii Literacy's "Classroom on Wheels" program back in January. The old van died, and grounded the bookmobile program. Now, thanks to community support, it's back up and running.
These kids have been waiting for more than five months for this. Their bookmobile's back, better than ever.
"Preeeeeeety," said Shaylin Fernandez, an 8-year-old reader, after seeing the newly painted van.
"A brand new fresh coat of blue, I guess," said John Wabaunasee, a 9-year-old reader.
The old bookmobile was run down, and stopped running completely back in December.
But the new van has no cracks, it doesn't leak, and when you turn on the ignition, it actually starts.
Megan Na'ihe heads the bookmobile program. She contacted our "Talk Story" line in January. Since her story aired, she's received an outpouring of support.
"So many nice sponsors have donated their time and money to help put this beautiful van together," said Naihe.
And the kids are happy they can read their favorite kind of books.
"Cartoon books, scary books such as this one," said Wabaunasee.
"I like to read Scooby Doo and cook books," added Fernandez.
Na'ihe hopes these kids make reading a life-long habit.
"If we don't have basic literacy skills, we can't get good jobs," she said. "We aren't able to perform well and have good lives."
Some have already taken that message to heart.
"You should read because when you go to intermediate or high school, it's going to be a lot harder, books that you're going to read," said Tezra Kauwe, a 10-year-old reader. "It'll help you in high school and you can get smarter."
Getting smarter while discovering new worlds.