Donate books to MEO Head Start families at Barnes & Noble holiday drive : Maui Now

Children at Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start will benefit from the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive, which runs through December 9. The general public can buy a book for a pre-school child. Christy Relos, senior bookseller, poses with a book drive (left) sign. Jane Neal, Barnes & Noble assistant store manager (right) holds Dr. Seuss’ “Sounds of Grinchmas” in front of the Dr. Seuss section of the Maui Market store. PC: MEO.

Donors to the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive will gift Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start Preschool children and their families a book, readings and trips, mostly to finish and prepare holiday gifts. is struggling

People have until Dec. 9 to donate to the book drive at Barnes & Noble in Kahului’s Maui Market. MEO Head Start was designated as this year’s recipient.

Head Start offers preschool at no cost to low-income families on Maui and Moloka’i. Priority is given to children who are homeless, in foster care and part of families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

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Head Start’s focus is on preparing 3- and 4-year-olds for kindergarten while working with the whole family. Case managers connect families to supportive services in the community, and parents sit on policy boards involved in their children’s education.

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Head Start is the first program established by MEO 57 years ago and is funded to serve 219 children.

MEO Senior Assistant Director Alex Domingo, who reads to the children during the store’s story time, said Kiki really loves picture books and noted that Barnes and Noble has books near the cash register. From which to choose.

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This year, more than 1,000 books have been collected with the goal of 1,750 books.

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“When adults read to young Kiki, we help them develop listening skills, comprehension, language and vocabulary, and more, in addition to building a special bond and connection,” Domingo said. “Books take kids on special journeys, and can open up a world of wonder for them.”

She thanked Barnes & Noble for choosing MEO’s holiday book drive as a beneficiary and asked the community to “make a difference in Kiki’s life during the holidays.”

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Amanda Atlan, lead bookseller for Barnes & Noble in Kahului, said the Maui team chose MEO Head Start as the recipient for this year’s holiday book drive. She added, MEO chief Pele has been selected several times in the past.

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“Our booksellers have partnered with Alex Domingo for our Kiki Storytime for many years and are proud to help her spread joy to Kiki and their families,” said Atlan. “We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our local community as all books will be donated to Kiki’s on Maui.

“Join us in spreading the word this holiday season by giving the gift of reading.”

For more information about MEO Head Start, call (808) 249-2988.

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