Amateur Educator Creates Effective Learning Program For Keiki
hugged them and gave them high-fives,” said Aki.
Even though he’s not a trained educator, Snavely said Aki, a Kaneohe resident, has come up with a unique way to engage young students.
“The books are well-written, they are not too long, the pictures are bright and colorful. He’s definitely found a niche that kids relate to.”
As far as the mascot characters, they were just as important, said Snavely, as the lessons being taught.
“I think the menehune’s being small and the smaller version of the boy (Keoki) helped. Seeing them does help the kids make a better connection to the story.”
Aki said the lessons in the stories were taken from his own childhood experiences, and that his efforts at being a self-publisher of children’s books provided further content to the stories.
“In the stories are messages that I hope will motivate them to question things, to ask questions and search for answers. I’m trying to instill in kids to set goals and be motivated to see their goals come true.”
Aki and Lee have published two books in what is a planned 10-book series. Each book — about 28 illustrated pages in length — acts as a single chapter in the complete story.
The first two books, Little Kahuna and Da Menehune and Little Kahuna and Da Menehune: Lost and Found, already are popular with young readers. A yet-untitled third book is in the illustration phase which Aki hopes to have ready by February when they plan to unveil their statewide initiative to bring their lovable characters to every elementary school in the state.
To date, the pair has donated copies of both books to more than 236 elementary schools across the state. The books are available for check out at the schools’ libraries.
Parents can also purchase the books at local bookstores and online at Isandergroup.com.