• Books for Keiki

Press Release- September 15, 2020

Books 4 Keiki Donates Books and School Supplies to Local

Pre-kindergarten Students to Promote Early Literacy

for Our Youngest Learners

-Palolo, Kalihi Waena and Aiea Elementary Schools’ PreK Classes

Chosen as 2020-2021 Recipients -

Honolulu, HI (September 15, 2020)–Amid the backdrop of COVID-19 school closures and distance learning, local non-profit Books 4 Keiki donated a dozen bags of new and gently used books and schools supplies valued at about $1,000 in total to the pre-kindergarten (PreK) classes of Palolo, Kalihi Waena and Aiea Elementary schools last week.

Newly formed Books 4 Keiki is the creation of professional colleagues and co-founders Michael Terry, Brandie Ota, and Matthew Nickel.

As local healthcare professionals and young parents themselves, both Ota and Terry believe that nurturing educational well-being through a love for reading and learning starts with providing our youngest learners with books early on. As Terry explains it, he and his fellow founders were driven by the numerous studies that have shown a direct link between access to books in the home and future academic success and literacy.

“As children are read to and as they learn to read, the more knowledge and ideas they will be exposed to,” shared Jana Uganiza, Aiea Elementary PreK teacher. “One of the most amazing things an adult can do to help their child on their journey to the mastery of language is to read to them every day.”

This 2020-2021 school year marks Books 4 Keiki’s inaugural donation as they plan for several more throughout the year to benefit other select Title I Hawaii public schools. Annual book drives and fundraisers are also on calendar to support the organization’s planned annual giving efforts.

Local sponsors UHA Health Insurance, Bess Press and Blue Zones Project Hawaii helped Books 4 Keiki with financial support and donations of new books.

“UHA is glad to support Books 4 Keiki in their goal to help families build their own home libraries. The quality family time and well-being that reading brings to our keiki is vitally important, explained Howard Lee, president and chief executive officer of UHA. “We’re also incredibly excited to support our own UHA associates Michael Terry and Matthew Nickel who’ve started this wonderful community give-back program. It’s always so rewarding when our company’s why or purpose and an employee’s individual purpose align for the greater good.”

“Books 4 Keiki is extremely grateful to our sponsors. It’s through their help, coupled with many generous individual donations of books, money and time that we’re able to provide the gift of books to these PreK keiki," said Ota. “With continued support from individuals and businesses in our community, we hope to positively impact even more young learners in the years to come.”

For more information about how you can help or if you are a school interested in partnering with Books 4 Keiki, please visit or connect on social media at or @Books_4_keiki on Instagram

About Books 4 Keiki

Books 4 Keiki is a local non-profit organization committed to promoting early literacy development to create excitement around lifelong learning for our youngest keiki through access to books and school supplies.

For more information, visit or follow @Books_4_keiki on Instagram and Books for Keiki HI on Facebook.


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