Robert Louis Pr. promotes English literacy

By Sarafina Sanerivi 31 July 2016, 12:00AM

Robert Louis Stevenson Primary School was a scene of colourful costumes on Friday.

Instead of wearing their school uniforms, the students and teachers came in wearing colourful and different costumes to wrap up their English Reading Week. 

Students dressed up in their own choice of book characters from the different readers they had used through-out the week. 

This is one of the annual events of the school, and the main purpose is to encourage the children to read in English, said the Principal of the school, Fiaapia Devoe. 

“This is our annual English Book Week, and today is the last day for this activity,” she said.

“And on the last day, we usually have a costume day for it, where the kids come dressed in whichever character they choose to be from the readers that they have read in class. 

“It’s just a fun day and we show it off to everybody and the children really enjoy it.”

The day started with a parade where parents and families were invited to see the different costumes worn by their children.  

This was followed by an assembly held at the school hall where the children were given the opportunity to recite their poems, do role-plays and songs all from the readers they’d had throughout the week. 

Said Fiaapia, the main idea is to make reading interesting for the children.

“Throughout this week, we’ve been encouraging them to read and we’ve taught them all different aspects of the English language. 

“But we don’t just encourage reading in English here at our school. We also encourage our kids to read in Samoan, but this whole week’s focus was on English literacy. But we will also have a separate week for the Samoan Reading for this year.”

She added that English literacy is very important in learning. 

“Literacy is important because it is more or less the centre for successful learning,” she said.

“To be successful, you have to be a good reader so that you will able to understand what you learn and that is why we really encourage our children to do a lot of reading in the classrooms. 

“And it is very vital to get them to love reading at this early age so that they will continue when they grow up. This is where it all starts for them, so it’s very important that we start building a good foundation for them for the future. Because if they can’t read at this age, it will be hard for them to learn as they grow up and move to the next level of education.”

Fiaapia also said that they’ve had some really good feedback from the parents about this activity.

 “We saw some parents coming in this morning to see their children during the parade. Although we know that some of them do have other obligations, they were able to come here and support this activity. 

“This is a good way to see whether the kids are understanding the books they read and it gives them the chance to express how they feel about the different characters they chose.”

Finally, Fiaapia personally said that “seeing the children in their different costumes is very pleasing.”

“It makes the atmosphere different and exciting,” she added. 

“They are all dressed up as their own characters and it’s a very interesting thing to see. And I am happy to see the smiles on their faces and plus some of the teachers have shown their support by dressing up as well. 

“We’ve had buddy reading all throughout the week, poetry reciting and they’ve written stories as well. It has been a good week.”

Nikhia Arp from Year 4 South who was dressed up as the “Red Queen” from the movie “Alice through the Looking Glass” said she was excited about the activity. 

“I love reading because you get to learn new things and new words,” she said. 

“I chose to dress up as the Red Queen because I love her character and it is a costume I had at home. But it is very nice to see all the other students in their own costumes.”

Tofiga Lesa, also from Year 4 South was thrilled and happy about yesterday’s activity.

“I love reading,” she said. “This is because reading gives you knowledge and it makes you understand the things you want to learn in school.

“I love reading here at school and at home as well.”

Tofiga was dressed up as a ballerina. 

By Sarafina Sanerivi 31 July 2016, 12:00AM

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