Sione authors talk the walk
The children who wrote the winning book for the NZ Transport Agency's 2011 Feet First story book competition are on the talking circuit at schools and libraries
Caprice, Chansys and Odille read aloud their winning book and gave a talk to other children at two Auckland libraries to mark Samoan Language Week.
The three girls from Fruitvale School in New Lynn were among the authors of Sione’s First Walk to School ʽO le Uluaʽi Sāvaliga a Sione i le Āʽoga, written in English and gagana Sāmoa. Two other authors, Natalie and Sana, began intermediate school this year.
The trio were supported at the library talks by Fruitvale deputy principal Hine Viskovich, and parent Paula Singh who helped with the Samoan version of the tale.
The book was professionally published by the NZTA as part of the school's prize. It tells the story of a five-year-old boy walking to school for his first day, and how he stays safe along the way.
Hine says that in addition to the library talks at Glen Eden and Mangere East, the group have made presentations at a few schools.
“Schools that have heard about the book, have asked us if we could come with the girls and talk to similar age children. They want to inspire their own children and to celebrate children's effort, especially from a low decile school where people may not have imagined that children can come top in something like this competition.”
Hine says she and the students talk to the audiences about the process of writing the book. This included brainstorming all the distractions and risks that students have actually encountered on the streets around Fruitvale School, and what children can do to stay safe.
The school has many Samoan students who can relate to the story in both languages. Teachers have used the book in reading and writing lessons.
Next up for the young authors is a talk at a nearby intermediate school.
Says Hine: “They're three ordinary girls who did something extraordinary. Hopefully they inspire others to have a go.”
Check your library catalogue for Sione's First Walk or view a digital version on SlideShare:
Fruitvale School: email Hine Viskovich