Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

State Departments of Education Publish Books In State Languages for Kindergartners and First Graders

Kosrae, FSM (FSM Information Services): July 5, 2010 - In the Fall of 2010, the kinder and first grade classrooms of all public schools in the FSM will receive their first sets of hardback bilingual alphabet books, written in both their State language and English. After a 12 month process of designing, translating, financing and publishing, the books are being shipped from the printing company based in Hong Kong directly to each State Department of Education (DOE) in the FSM.

These school books, available in Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, Yapese, Satawalese, Woleaian and Ulithian, are the result of team-work between the State DOEs and volunteers from Island Research and Education Initiative (IREI), a non-profit organization based in Pohnpei. IREI volunteers provided most of the art and design work, while the State DOEs called upon their state language experts to do the translation work and used their respective sector education grants to pay for the printing and shipping costs.

"These books are a welcome addition to the Early Childhood Education alphabet posters, already available in many Kinder classrooms," said Jacqueline Hazen, IREI volunteer.

IREI's next project is aimed at cultural literacy, with the preparation of books about FSM legends; these books will be geared towards 5th or 6th grade-level readers. IREI volunteers have designed and published a prototype called "The Creation of Pohnpei," and hope to finalize four books about different legends relating to each State.

The Department of Health also recently put to good use a grant from the Australian Embassy to publish pre-literacy books. These books will be distributed to each parent who brings their child to the hospital for immunization.

Another work in progress is a series of 4th grade social studies books being created by the Micronesian Conservation Trust, with the assistance of European Union funding. These books showcase 10 eco-systems for each State. The National DOE and the State DOEs are reviewing the prototypes of these books and will decide whether or not to invest in publication.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356