Maui Business

Rotary Celebrates Dr. Seuss with ‘5 Million Words Challenge’

February 6, 2017, 2:22 PM HST
* Updated February 6, 2:24 PM
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Dr. Seuss.

“Don’t give up. I believe in you all. A person’s a person. No matter how small.”

Beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss would have turned 113 years old on March 2, 2017, and Rotarians across Hawai‘i are celebrating his birthday with the “5 Million Words Challenge.”

Taking place from Feb. 27 to March 3, 2017, the week-long program is a partnership between Hawai‘i Rotary District 5000, the state Department of Education and First Lady Dawn Ige, who together are making it possible for volunteers to read Dr. Seuss books to every first-grade class in public and charter schools across the state.

On Maui and throughout the islands, volunteers will read one to two stories per day, per classroom to reach five million words. The challenge reinforces global literacy initiatives and honors the work of Dr. Seuss, whose more than 60 books set a new standard in children’s publishing.

“Dr. Seuss used beautiful illustrations and clever rhymes to convey thoughtful social messages that resonate with children and adults alike,” said Liz May, Rotary District 5000 literacy chair. “We are excited to bring his imaginative, fun stories to first grade classrooms across Maui and the state.”


Both Hawai‘i Rotary, represented by District Gov. Clint Schroeder, and Rotary International strongly support literacy initiatives and see early literacy training as critical to the success of a child’s later education.


“With the “5 Million Words Challenge,” Hawai‘i Rotarians can help develop children’s literacy skills and encourage positive interaction through shared reading,” said May. “We think Dr. Seuss would be proud to know that his books continue to make a difference in the educational lives of children in Hawai‘i and across the world.”

For more information about volunteering to read Dr. Seuss books to first grade classes on Maui during the weeklong “5 Million Words Challenge,” contact Liz May at [email protected].

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