Kapolei Rotarians Collect Books For Typhoon-affected Areas

Typhoon Haiyan devastated many schools and libraries in the Philippines last year, and the Rotary Club of Kapolei Sunset has made it their mission to collect books for the country’s children.

The last shipment of books the Rotary club sent out totaled around 6,000, and the next shipment is expected to contain about 12,000 books.

“Projects like this often begin to take on a life of their own,” explained Rotarian Dan White.

White noted that Hawaii Self Storage in Kapolei has offered free storage space until the books can be shipped, and LBC Express has been a great shipping partner.

With the move that public schools are making toward the Common Core curriculum, which eliminates outdated print textbooks and moves toward digital mediums, Rotary is hoping the discarded textbooks can go toward a better cause.

“These are fairly recent textbooks,” White said. “We’re not sending them old hand-me-downs, as the public sector in particular will adopt a new curriculum with new editions.”

White, who with wife Judy founded Island Pacific Academy in 2004, said he anticipates that his role in the educational realm can create useful partnerships in the Philip-pines.

“The next step is for us to be in touch with educators in the Philippines to become more targeted,” he explained.

“If there is a particular need for math textbooks (in a certain province), we understand that this province needs math help. That’s a conversation that would take place educator-to-educator.”

White hopes that what Rotary Club of Kapolei Sunset is doing will inspire other organizations across the nation to follow suit.

“This is an interesting model we’ve developed that we hope other nonprofits and Rotary clubs might adopt.

“They identify their own areas of the world where surplus texts would be useful.”

The Rotarians welcome volunteers who are available to help pick up or pack the books.

“If anyone has extra change, that would be helpful (if) we need to purchase things like shipping or storage,” White added.

For more information on ways to assist with the project, call Rotarian Jim Handsel at 373-7424