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Source: Government of Western Samoa

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(AUSTRALIA HIGH COMMISSION); With social distancing measures still in place, and a limit on weekend activities for young children, the Australian High Commission and MADD Gallery have teamed up to produce a bilingual interactive reading radio program featuring Australian themed stories.

The program aims to stimulate children’s imaginations through the reading of much-loved Australian stories such as Possum Magic and Wombat Stew in both English and Samoan on Saturdays from 9:00am to 10:00am.

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.

Teacher and Director of MADD, Papalii Momoe Malietoa von Reiche, said that early childhood readers are most receptive to the program as their minds are hungry for information.
“Words paint pictures and symbols that stimulate perceptions in the early reader’s mind. 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,” Papalii said.

Australian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Sara Moriarty, highlighted Australia’s support to the program which provides a fun learning experience for young listeners of the weekend show.

“With COVID-19 having disrupted international travel, we’re excited to be working with MADD Gallery to bring Australia’s beautiful landscapes— from our forests to beaches— to Samoa. Some of our most loved and unique animals will also feature,” Ms Moriarty said.

“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 Savaii,” she concluded.

The MADD Gallery show first aired on Saturday 27 June 2020, and air over the next three Saturdays on the Magik Kid’s Program from 9:00am to 10:00am on Radio Polynesia’s 98.1 or 89.5 Magik FM.

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