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To encourage literacy and reading skills

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 8, 2008) – Over one hundred primary schools in Samoa are reaping the benefits from English storybooks that have been translated into their language.

Samoa’s Ministry of Education recently had forty English storybooks translated into Samoan for use in schools, under a Treaty of Friendship signed with New Zealand.

The ministry’s language consultant Ainslee Chu Ling-So’o headed the project to encourage literacy and reading skills among early readers.

She says the books have been so popular among parents, teachers and readers alike, that getting more stories translated and published is a priority.

"We’d love to do this again. I think the only constraints we’d have is financial assistance. And I think the work that New Zealand has done has really made it possible for all schools, and this is talking about 160 schools, primary schools in Samoa, including missionary schools and the private schools, all schools have these books."

Ainslee Chu Ling-Soo says the ministry is in the process of applying for further funds from the New Zealand government for more books.

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