Interactive radio for children launched
The Australian High Commission has teamed up with MADD Gallery to produce a bilingual interactive reading radio program featuring Australian themed stories.
The radio program targets children in Samoa, especially with social distancing measures still in place and weekends having limited activities for youngsters.
The program aims to stimulate children's imaginations through the reading of much-loved Australian stories such as the Possum Magic and Wombat Stew in both English and Samoan on Saturdays from 9-10am.
The first of the four-episode series was launched on Magik FM on 27 June, targeting early childhood readers and providing listeners with an interactive experience, by encouraging the audience to phone in and discuss the stories.
According to a statement released by the Australian High Commission, the MADD Gallery teacher and director, Papalii Momoe Malietoa von Reiche, is of the view that early childhood readers respect the program as they are hungry for information.
"Words paint pictures and symbols that stimulate perceptions in the early reader's mind," Papalii said. "Learning at any age level is built on prior knowledge and storytelling reinforces and recreates multiple experiences that engage the senses and plant information deeply in the brain, formulating opinion-making, actions, judgements, individuality and many other cognitive processes. Storytelling, therefore, is a powerful learning tool."
Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty, highlighted Australia's support for the program which she said provides a fun learning experience for young listeners of the weekend show.
"With COVID-19 having disputed international travel, we're excited to be working with MADD Gallery to bring Australia's beauty landscapes – from our forests to beaches – to Samoa. Some of our most loved and unique animals will also feature," she added. "By sharing Australian stories in both English and Samoan we hope to broaden the horizons of young listeners to the show, as they gain a deeper insight into Australian society, history, people and everyday life.
"We are pleased to be supporting a unique educational tool that utilises a medium broadcast in Upolu and Savai’i."
The MADD Gallery show first went on air on Saturday 27 June 2020, and will be aired over the next three Saturdays on the Magik Kid's Program from 9-10am on Radio Polynesia 98.1 or 89.5 Magik FM.