Rotary Club of Kapolei and Coast Guard team-up against illiteracy in American Samoa schools

HONOLULU -- Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class James Mitard helps guide boxed up books into the HC-130 Hercules aircraft at Air Station Barbers Point, Feb. 8, 2011. The air station donated 16 computers and Rotary Club of Kapolei, Hawaii, donated more than 7,000 books to American Samoa public schools which will be delivered by a Coast Guard air crew Feb. 9, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Angela Henderson

Books and computers are loaded onto a C-130 for transfer to American Samoa. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Angela Henderson.

HONOLULU – Rotary Club of Kapolei and Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point members will be delivering books and computers to schools in American Samoa to improve literacy and education at schools in American Samoa Wednesday.

The Rotary Club collected more than 7,000 books to donate to schools throughout American Samoa. The Coast Guard is also donating 16 computers to the Fa’ asao Marist High School.

The books and computers will be transported Wednesday, to American Samoa in an HC-130 Hercules aircraft. Coast Guard members stationed at Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa have been working closely with community members to ensure successful delivery and distribution of the donated materials.

“Educating and assisting the young citizens of the territory has been a primary goal of the Coast Guard Detachment,” said Lt. Trevor Parra, supervisor of Marine Safety Detachment American Samoa. “Coordinating the shipment of the books and computers is just one of the initiatives of our staff and this is truly a wonderful event that will have lasting impacts on the students of American Samoa.”

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Pago Pago and a few businesses in American Samoa have agreed to assist with transporting the books and computers to schools.

“This project is about our club’s commitment to making communities stronger and better,” said Natasha Clarin, director of community service for the Rotary Club of Kapolei. “We truly welcome the Coast Guard’s help in our efforts to improve literacy in American Samoa.”

Coordination for the project began in July 2010 and resulted in the collection of 28,000 pounds of books. Delivery of all the books will require two flights.

“The men and women of Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point are truly privileged to partner with the many dedicated volunteers of Rotary International who serve their community here in Hawaii and American Samoa,” said Capt. Anthony Vogt, commanding officer of Air Station Barbers Point. “We are humbled and honored that our efforts will have such a positive impact on the wonderful people of American Samoa.”

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