State Library System Celebrates Teen Summer Reading Program

The Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) presented the 2017 Teen Summer Reading–Oahu Finale August 5, in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of its Teen Summer Reading Program, at Windward Mall Center Stage.

The Hawaii State Public Library System’s 2017 Teen Summer Reading Program-Oahu Finale Winners were joined by State Librarian Stacey A. Aldrich, Leah Allen of Hawaii Pizza Hut, Nainoa Mau of the Friends of the Library of Hawaii, Teen award-winning vocalist/ukulele performer Karlie Goya, and emcee Lina Girl at Windward Mall Center Stage. Courtesy: Paul H. Mark

Since 1992, more than 80,000 participants (grades 6 -12) have read over half-a-million books! To encourage teens to read, this year’s participants were entered into a lucky drawing. Twenty-four Oahu teens were selected to vie in winning exciting “tech gadget” prizes.

Each finalist received a prize and the “Top Three” prize winners were Abhinav Erukulapati, the Manoa Public Library finalist, who won the Grand Prize of a 11.6” Samsung Chromebook computer; Sasha Daniel, Hawaii Kai Public Library finalist, who won an LG –220W Hi-Fi Entertainment System; and Avalon Horne, Waialua Public Library finalist, who won a Vizio 32” LED TV.

The finalists had signed up for the 6-week Teen Summer Reading Program from June 4th through July 15th. At this year’s event, each teen participated in an exciting new “game” featuring pizza boxes with a special prize inside.

Corporate sponsor Hawaii Pizza Hut has supported the Program for 25 consecutive years providing fabulous prizes for the Finale event and teen prize drawings for 26 Neighbor Island libraries.

The Friends of the Library of Hawaii sponsored the entertainment for the Finale and is the major sponsor of the annual HSPLS Summer Reading Program for keiki, teens, adults, and kupuna. For the first time, the program was easy to join and log reading minutes from anywhere, any time, and with any smart device because it was online. This year, more than 13,600 participants read more than 11.6 million minutes!

State Librarian Stacey A. Aldrich congratulated each teen and presented their prize. Teen award-winning vocalist and ukulele performer Karlie Goya offered a Michael Jackson medley as a prelude to the program and also performed during intermission. Radio Personality Lina Girl of Krater 96.3 FM, a devoted library patron, emceed this year’s event.

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

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