Many school teachers joined the occasion for the launching of three new Te Reo Maori children’s books that came to completion last year.
The Ministry of Education began the project after calling upon several local authors in the community to write Cook Islands Maori books aimed for Years 1-3 primary school students.
Learning and teaching advisor Anna Roumanu said the collaborative project involved authors, artists, teachers and creators coming together to produce the Reo Maori children’s readers.
“I am very proud of everybody’s efforts. We are really privileged to have these authors who have come through and written these books for us and a big thanks to the illustrator Tim Buchanan,” she said.
Roumanu said authors Teura Tutai and Maruata Arii Pureau wrote the book ‘Te Akonoanga Kiritanga Maro Tai e te Patai’ which talks about the Cook Islands traditional welcoming ceremony.
“Ana T.J. Andrew wrote ‘Oai Teia?’ which is about children talking about self.
“Also, Papa Ngatoko Rongo who wrote I Toku Tamarikianga which is about a reflection on the past,” she said.
Teachers and principals from schools in Rarotonga and the outer islands attended the ceremony and were acknowledged for their input in the pacific literacy and school leadership project.
Roumanu said the production of the books was also an expression of the importance of culture and Cook Islands Maori language.
“The authors were drawing from their own background, as they are Cook Islanders and they are confident writers,” she said.
The three different books have been written in different dialects for the multiple islands.
Roumanu said the ministry was very conscious of making sure the books were dialect friendly so the different islands could enjoy reading them.
The books will be distributed to the different primary schools in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the southern groups.