Tag Archives: Starts at Home

Young Writer Publishes His 5th Book

Mom Zjane, Shafer Santiago-Militao, Carl Okuyama at Wiki-Wiki Mart.
One day while working at Wiki-Wiki Mart, Naalehu I couldn’t help overhearing a proud mom sharing a story of her son who just  completed writing and publishing a book for a school project. She was very proud of her son. This really peaked my curiosity so I asked the young writer Shafer about his book.

Shafer quickly went to get his book from the car parked outside.  Smiling, he showed me his glossy soft cover book entitled Mr. Whale Shark Makes Friends.  His writing was excellent for a nine year old who is originally from Brazil, he says he has two dogs and two cats. The illustrations in this book are his own drawings.


I purchase a copy of Shafer’s book from http://www.Studentreasures.com/OrderCopies, using the book’s pin # 7481214. His teacher’s name will pop up, it’s Carlin’s.

The writing program is a curriculum at Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, a public Charter School, on the Island of Hawaii; Ms. Kalima Kinney, Principal, and Mr. Chris King-Gates, Assistant Vice Principal, are supporting the program.

StartsAtHome.org supports early parental involvement with their children, they have teamed up with Wiki-Wiki Mart who loves children and encourages them to do their best.  Each semester the store rewards perfect attendance at Naalehu Elementary School. Students with three days or less are rewarded with an escorted excursion to the store, where they get $3.00 to spend as they please or save the money, the kids like the break.

IMG_3344[1]The goal of the Perfect Attendance Program is to have the school’s attendance rate pass the Big Island’s School District’s average of 94%.  When the program started two years ago, the Naalehu school’s rate was 88%.  They have gotten up to 91% and is wavering trending upward, we are praying they pass the district’s average of 94%. Since then another program was started “Challenge Five” that recognizes students with less the five absences in a semester. With good faith by students, parents, school faculty, and the community this goal will come to pass, yes #KidsKan.

To get more parental participation, Wiki-Wiki Mart has announced that parents with children attaining “Perfect Attendance” will receive a 25% discount coupon good at the store.  Starts of Home is trying to build community partnerships that promotes improved student attendance, if you’re interested call (808) 937-4292, we would love to partner with the community in improving school attendance.

For our children and our community’s future, train a child in the way to go.

Written By Carl Okuyama


Second Chances – By David Welty

Second Chances – Written by David Welty

Grandpa Carl and John enjoying our “Second Changes” that Welty is referring to; it is such a joy to be with the new and growing family.

It’s not very often that we get a second chance in life. When we have raised our children and we have aged, we tend to look back and more often than not wish we had spent a little more time listening and playing with our children. As we all know they just grew too fast and many of us feel that there were many missed opportunities.

The older we get, the more we realize what is truly important….it certainly isn’t a big career, fancy cars or a big house. It is the joy and love that comes with family and to those of us that God blesses with grandchildren, we truly do get a second chance. We now can take all day to listen and play with our children’s children.

The short temper that some of us had as parents seems to completely disappear and spending time with our grandchildren becomes a joy with true unconditional love. Our grandchildren believe grandma and grandpa know everything and can do anything. We all know this will soon pass too quickly, however we are embracing our second chances while they last.