Dressing up, reading and hearing tests to mark the end of literacy week at S.S.A.B.

Reading assessments, hearing tests and a dress-up day were at the centre of Samoa Stationery and Books' final-day programme of events for Literacy Week at Togafu'afu'a.

The programme has been taking place in a tent set up outside the megastore and has seen 70 students from around the Samoa Stationery and Books (S.S.A.B.) neighbourhood come and join events on each day of this week's national literacy week celebrations. 

An Australian volunteer for S.S.A.B, Shannon Whitwell, said special events have been running for each day of the week with special guests to read to the children.

"We've had guest authors come; we've been doing games and so today we're doing activities and using [children's] reading skills to have fun," she said.

"These are all kids from the community, but we have had at least 70 kids come every day, so it is a really good turn out and so lots of kids come the next day and they bring their friend, so the numbers are getting bigger each day, which is really nice.

"We love the kids, they're excited to learn and excited to read and they're enjoying listening to the authors as well."

Also included in the Friday programme were Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) volunteers who were conducting reading assessments with the children, while SENESE doing hearing assessments.

"We've also got four volunteers from M.E.S.C. here to come do some reading assessments and we also have some people from SENESE doing free hearing tests as well," said Ms. Whitwell.

Naomi Asi, a Coordinator for the hearing service, said the tests were an important aspect of the literacy week.

"This is for every child because as you can see the children are reading and playing but you don't know if their hearing is alright. Or maybe they can hear but they have a infection or some foreign body in their ear," she said.

"Part of this screening is to check, look into the ear and see if they have any for these so we can refer them to the hospital so they can remove clean and provide some medication and treatments."

SENESE detected two students with an ear infection at the event.

"They have foreign objects and ear wax but two of them have infections," Ms. Asi said.

"But the service, SENESE, has been running this for quite a while and they've been seeing children at the office."

Also to mark the end of the week's events S.S.A.B. employees went to work in style on Friday, dressing up as their favourite book character.

S.S.A.B.'s Cinderella for the day, Marketing and Communications Manager, Asomua Asia Stanley, told the Samoa Observer that employees dress up to commemorate the end of literacy week each year:

"We decided to go with book character given that it goes hand in hand with literacy and we want to see learning as something fun and we want it to become a habit.

"We're actually doing a partnership with the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture and this is our final activity and we decided to include all our employees."

Education and literacy has been the company's banner throughout the years. This is the 10th year of their annual literacy weeks.

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