Encouraging young leaders to read

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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‘LEADERS ARE READERS’: Vaiusu pupils with some of the readers who were at their school to promote Literacy and Numeracy Week.

‘LEADERS ARE READERS’: Vaiusu pupils with some of the readers who were at their school to promote Literacy and Numeracy Week.

“It takes a whole village to raise a child.”

 And with that belief, the Vaiusu Primary School started a special programme on Tuesday inviting the village mayor and the matai’s (chiefs) of the village together with some of the parents to give them the chance to read to the students of the school as part of the National Literacy Week. 

Nevertheless, the day was extra special with the presence of the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sue Langford with three other representatives from Australia and Leota Valma Galuvao from the Ministry of Education, Sports and Education. 

The idea to have such a programme was inspired by the quote, “Leaders are Readers.”

The principal of the school, Fuimaono Fuatino Tauaa’anae says that the main objective of the programme is to encourage the children to keep reading. 

“We decided to have this programme as part of the national literacy week this year,” says Fuimaono. 

“We want to encourage our students to keep reading and we want it to be fun for them so they can also enjoy it.”

Moreover, she added that encouraging the participation of parents and the leaders of the village was another objective of the programme.

“In order for our children to have better futures and to be successful in life, we all need to work together to nurture them.

Australian High Commissioner: H.E. Sue Langford reading to the students of Year 8.
Australian High Commissioner: H.E. Sue Langford reading to the students of Year 8.
A.C.E.O  of M.E.S.C: Leota Valma Galuvao, reading to a class.
A.C.E.O of M.E.S.C: Leota Valma Galuvao, reading to a class.

“This programme also encourages the support of everyone in promoting this very important programme. 

On Tuesday members from the village, the village mayor and the other old matai’s from the village came to talk to students about how important it is to read. 

“They are the leaders of the villages and a lot of these students look up to them. Having them here is a way for them to share their stories with these students and give them (students) the opportunity to learn from them. 

“Even if it’s just telling myths and legends, that’s fine so that at least our children will be able to learn new things from these leaders. 

“We are also so fortunate to have with us here a representative from M.E.S.C and the Australian High Commissioner with her other friends. They are leaders and they were able to get where they are now because of reading. And we want our children to look up to them and be motivated by them to get into reading.”

Furthermore, she also says that they truly believe that if they start teaching them how to read and write at a very young age, they will grown up to be very successful. 

“And I am also pleased to see that we have the support of the village, the parents and the government. Reading is the key to success and we want our children to realize that.

“This is the right time to train the future leaders of our families, villages, and country.”

This is Fuimaono’s first year as the principal of Vaiusu Primary School. And she is hoping that they will continue to do this programme for the school every year. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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