Hanalei School students receive donated books

HANALEI — Students at Hanalei School are receiving the gift of aloha.

Co-authored by Ann Hettinger and Lahela Chandler Correa, the 38-page workbook “Aloha: What It Means to My Ohana and Yours” will be donated to each of the 300 students at Hanalei School by Michael and Crystine Margolis.

“Our focus here is education. As new residents of Hanalei, we wanted to be effective in our community,” said Michael Margolis. “In order to get aloha, you have to give aloha. We see a need for education.”

Part-time residents of Hanalei, the Margolis reside in Boulder, Colorado. During their stay on the island, they came across Hettinger’s and Correa’s book. They enjoyed it so much that they wanted students to share the aloha spirit.

“It’s a beautiful book,” Margolis said. “It’s a book where kids can participate, and I think it’s important especially in elementary schools. It’s not only the message of aloha; it’s the message of the culture of Hawaii.”

The donation was made possible through Aloha Angels, a donor-advised fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation that supports Kauai’s teachers and students.

When Hettinger found out that her book made a positive impact on the Margolis family, she was pleased. And when she learned they wanted to donate copies of the book to Hanalei School students, Hettinger was elated.

“Our goal is to get this into all the schools on Kauai,” she said. “When we heard that these people wanted to donate, we were so excited. It was so awesome.”

Hettinger hopes the book will receive more positive reviews that will bring more donors into the picture to distribute copies of the workbook to The Garden Isle’s 12 other public elementary schools.

“I learned from Lahela about aloha and for me, I look at the world at what is happening especially with our kids. So I went to Lahela and talked to her, and I asked her how she would feel about sharing this. If you were to tell somebody what aloha is, what would you say?”

Lahela wrote down what aloha meant to her and showed Hettinger that aloha is more than just a Hawaiian term: It’s a lifestyle. Lahela wrote down words such as love, kindness and kuleana, among 14 other ways that people can use aloha everyday, which are featured in their book.

To have people believe in her book’s cause and message is important to Hettinger.

“The message is positive and it’s beautiful. No matter who looks at it, no matter if it’s an educator or an adult with or without kids, we’ve received such positive input from everyone who reads it,” she said. “We want to share aloha with the rest of the world.”

The authors will be signing copies of their book at the Tahiti Nui Luau Room in Hanalei from 6 to 9 tonight to raise money so more students can get a copy of the book. There will be music, pupus and prizes.

Copies of “Aloha: What It Means to My Ohana and Yours” are $12.95. Information: http://shop.alohapublishinghawaii.com/

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