FEBRUARY 2012 : Smart Reader® Worldwide became the first pre-school education franchise provider to be involved in UMW Toyota’s road safety campaign, “Toyota Traffic Tots 2012”. The campaign was launched at the Bukit Damansara Community Centre and was officiated by Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha, the Minister of Transport. More than 300 guests, comprising parents, teachers and children of Smart Reader Kids®, attended the event.

The Toyota Traffic Tots is a road safety programme, aimed at providing pre-school children essential road safety knowledge in support of the government’s National Road Safety Action Plan.

In his welcome speech, Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha mentioned that, “With 21 million vehicles on the roads and almost 1 million new vehicles being registered every year, safety has become an issue of paramount importance, particularly among small children who have poor understanding of dangers of the road.”

In addition, he said that, children often put themselves or their friends in danger while playing or waiting for their transportation along the roadside.

Dato’ Seri Kong described this road safety programme as the ideal complement to the Road Safety Education (RSE), a partnership between the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Education to teach road safety in schools.

Chief Executive Officer of Smart Reader® Worldwide, Dr Richard Ong agreed that preschoolers are children of a tender age and it is at this age that they are able to absorb most of what is being taught. The teaching they receive, when they are five or six years old will remain with them forever. The government is committed to ensuring that the message of road safety awareness is also made known to young learners.

“For a start, ten Smart Reader Kids® centres in Klang Valley have been selected to organise and run the road safety programme this year. The programme will then be extended to all Smart Reader Kids® centres nationwide. In the long run, we will make every effort to run this campaign at our Smart Reader® centres in foreign countries as well,” Dr Ong said.

Under the road safety programme, children will be provided lessons on road safety which includes passenger and pedestrian safety.

Smart Reader Kids® emphasises a fun learning environment for children, making use of interactive activities like songs, rhymes, arts and crafts to convey road safety awareness. The programme also encourages engagement and participation through smart learning. Practising simple songs like “Safety First” in Smart Reader Kids® centres helps children in the learning of traffic safety.