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Celebrating differences, creativity to transform lives

Posted on Jul 25, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

With the start of a new school year, First Lady and former educator Dawn Amano-Ige is sending words of encouragement to both students and teachers. “I hope we can take lessons learned from the pandemic and find inspiration from the resilience everyone has shown,” she said. “It’s always exciting to look forward to new adventures and experiences. I want all of us to stay healthy and safe  as we enjoy the months ahead.”

Assets head of school Ryan Masa, First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige and Kitty Yannone, Assets board chair at the ceremony to launch the Transforming Lives Center, supported by GEER funds.

The next book for Mrs. Ige’s August story time is “Wordsworth the Poet” by local writer Frances Kakugawa. The story is about a misunderstood mouse whose love of poetry sets him apart from others and helps him save the day. “I liked that the story celebrates differences and encourages creativity,” said Mrs. Ige. “When I was in the classroom, I wanted students to build on their own unique talents. That was the joy in teaching. Everyone has his or her own special gifts and abilities.” To see all of Mrs. Ige’s story time videos, go to

“Wordsworth the Poet” and a conversation with author Frances Kakugawa will be featured during Mrs. Ige’s August story time.

This ability to appreciate differences also relates to the new “Transforming Lives Center” launched by Assets School in June. A $378,000 Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund grant to Assets will help assess students who may be facing academic challenges because of learning differences. At the center’s grand opening, Mrs. Ige said, “By identifying their challenges and gifts early, we can support and guide students on a journey for success. Some of the world’s greatest artists, athletes and innovators live with ADHD, like Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, or with dyslexia, like Tom Cruise.” Families interested in an appointment at the new center can email [email protected] or learn more at


Read more in the August Capitol Connection newsletter.

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