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Saturday, November 19, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022

The flag of Portugal raised at the new site of the Hawai'i Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce Cultural & Educational Center. Photo by Tim Wright

Brenda Deluz-Campbell, Council member Maile David, Dr. Marlene Hapai,
 Contractor Michael Singer, Honorary Portuguese Consul Tyler Dos Santos
 Tam and Hawai'i Island Portuguese Chamber President Archie Hapai III at
groundbreaking for a cultural and educational center. Photo by Tim Wright
HAWAI'I ISLAND PORTUGUESE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, which has supported Portuguese cultural events in Kaʻū, held a groundbreaking ceremony in Hilo on Saturday for a Portuguese Cultural & Educational Center. Helping with groundbreaking were Brenda DeLuz-Campbell, Councilwoman Maile Medeiros David, Dr. Marlene Hapai, Contractor Michael Singer, Honorary Consul of Portugal Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, and HIPCC President Archie Hapai III. Father Clyde Phillips officiated.                 Construction of the Portuguese Cultural & Educational Center will begin in 2023 at the corner of Komohana and Ponahawai Streets. 
Paniolo Hall of Fame member Casey Da Silva celebrates
his Portuguese heritage. Photo by Julia Neal
    The Portuguese arrived to Hawai'i 144 years ago, with families sailing to Hawaiʻi on a journey that took them across the Atlantic, around the southern point of South America, and across the vast Pacific to their new island home. The first ship was the Priscilla, which arrived Sept. 30, 1878, with 120 Madeira Islanders. The second ship left Funchal on April 23, 1879, taking four months to cross the Atlantic Ocean, round Cape Horn and sail across the Pacific to Honolulu. Among the passengers were Manuel Nunes, Augusto Dias, Jose do Espirito Santo, and Joao Fernandes, who are credited with introducing the Portuguese stringed instrumente that became 'ukulele in Hawaiʻi.
    Many of the Portuguese settlers worked at the sugar companies in Kaʻū. They became ranchers, paniolo and leaders in the Catholic Church.
    Portuguese names like Amaral, Andrade, Baruz, Da Silva, De Silva, Enos, Fontes, Freitas, Francis, Frances, Gomes, Gouveia, Joseph, Lorenzo, Louis, Manoa, Marques, Medeiros, Manuel, Oliveira, Pedra, Pestano, Silva and Vierra are well known in Kaʻū, with many families of Hawaiian and Portuguese ancestry.
Darlyne Vierra with her display of photos and cultural items
from Kaʻū Portuguese families. 
Photo by Julia Neal
    Kaʻū Multicultural Society President Darlyne Vierra was an early supporter of the cultural and education center, encouraging Portuguese families from Kaʻū to become involved. Vierra has been collecting photos, documents and cultural items of Portuguese families in Kaʻū for many years. She said that copies of photos and documents could be offered to show the history of Portuguese culture in this district. She noted that Portuguese families have had a large influence of on ranching, sugar and coffee heritage of Kaʻū, and over the years have presented Portuguese dance, song and food at such events as Kaʻū Plantation Days.

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THE 'OHANA READERS PROGRAM has been expanded in Kaʻū  by Hawai'i's first lady Dawn Amano-Ige along with state and non-profit partners This program is now available to children under five-years-old throughout the zip codes of Nāʻālehu and Pāhala.
    ʻOhana Readers is a literacy program that focuses on reading with family. Initially launched on
Molokaʻi in 2019, the program offers high-quality, age-appropriate Imagination Library books each month to children in specific zip codes. Children who register for the program will receive one book each month via the U.S. Postal Service. The program operates through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and is free of charge.
    Families can sign up at Nāʻālehu Public Library and Pāhala Public & School Library. The libraries have already begun to offer programs that complement the books the children receive and will provide other activities to promote literacy and reading.
   "Research shows that children are ready to learn in their earliest years, and this program provides no-cost opportunities for learning from birth through age four," said Amano-Ige. "ʻOhana Readers encourages family read-aloud time, an activity that increases the vocabulary and language skills of our children and contributes to their growing knowledge of the world."
    In addition to Kaʻū, 'Ohana readers is available for families with children five years old and younger on Moloka'i (entire island), Lānaʻi (entire island), and parts of Kauaʻi (in zip code areas 96703, 96714, 96722, 96752, 96754, and 96796). The Hawai'i State Public Library System is encouraging families within the covered areas to register for the 'Ohana Readers program at their libraries.
First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige and 'Ohana Readers has delivered more
 than 10,000 books to Hawai'i children since 2019.
Photo from the Governor's Office
    "This program is all about reading!" said State Librarian Stacey Aldrich. "It encourages the development of a love of words and reading by helping each child create their own library of books. Each book read builds early literacy skills for school readiness. The Hawai'i State Public Library System is very excited to partner with the ʻOhana Readers program by being a place for families to sign up their little ones and attend story times at the Nāʻālehu Public Library and Pāhala Public and School Library to complement the books being mailed out."
    The program is made possible through a collaborative partnership between the Office of the Governor, the Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services, the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System, state Rep. Lynn DeCoite, and nonprofit partners Dollywood Foundation, Friends of the Library of Hawaʻi, Learning to Grow, and Read to Me International. Program sponsors also include Kamehameha Schools, Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative, Friends of the North Shore Library at Princeville, Windward Community College's
Learning to Grow project in partnership with the Hawai'i State Department of Human Services through monies from the Federal Child Care and Development Block Grant, and aio. The Hawaiʻi island program is funded by aio.
    "Friends of the Library of Hawai'i is pleased to be expanding the ʻOhana Readers program that helps build a life-long love of reading at home with family," said Nainoa Mau, executive director of Friends of the Library of Hawai'i.
    Since 2019, the ʻOhana Readers program has distributed over 10,000 books to Hawaiʻi children through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Prior to that, First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige distributed approximately 2,000 books through the Scholastic Summer Reading Ambassador program through schools across the state in Kekaha, Lāʻie, Fern, Nāʻālehu, Maunaloa, and Nānāikapono.
    For more information about the ʻOhana Readers program, visit FLHhawaii.org/ohanareaders. To sign up for the program locally, visit either the Nāʻālehu Public Library or the Pāhala Public & School Library. The form is available for download from the website above and must be dropped off at the library.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.
SNAP BENEFITS HAVE BEEN EXTEDNDED THROUGH JAN. 16. Gov. David Ige signed a fifth emergency proclamation this week, extending Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program The program is backed by federal COVID relief funding. "Food insecurity is just one of the lingering effects of the pandemic, and SNAP benefits provide Hawaiʻi families with nutritious food," said Ige. "This emergency proclamation ensures food security through the holidays. I urge families in need to sign up for SNAP so they can get this federal assistance. Mahalo to the employees at
the Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services and the Benefit, Employment & Support Services Division who work with our federal partners to administer the program. They remain committed to providing food
security for individuals and families in Hawaiʻi though the pandemic and beyond."
    SNAP provides crucial food and nutritional support to qualifying households, and those making the transition from public assistance to self-sufficiency. SNAP is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is the largest food nutrition assistance program in the country. Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services reminds the public that the federal government requires recipients of SNAP and Financial Assistance Programs to recertify, or renew, their eligibility annually (for most households) to receive continued benefits. To apply for or renew SNAP benefits, visit https://pais-benefits.dhs.hawaii.gov/. For more information about applications and renewals, please call the Public Assistance Toll Free Information Line at 1-855-643-1643.