IT was a memorable day for parents and teachers as more than 60 preschoolers from Smart Reader Kids wowed the audience at the Smart Star Search Finale 2017.
Held at Wisma Smart Reader 1 in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, the talent competition was part of the preschool’s holistic educational approach to cultivate talent and creativity among the young learners aside from focusing on academics alone.
Smart Reader Worldwide executive director Keefe Ong Kin Fye said the competition was held to help the children develop emotionally, socially, morally and culturally.
“Competitions can be healthy for the development of children. At Smart Reader, we teach our preschoolers that it is not about winning the competition, but having fun and learning.
“We put the children through a healthy competition where they can showcase their talents, and learn through positive and productive feedback.
The top three winners of the talent show with (back row, from left) Smart Reader Worldwide executive director Kevan Ong Kin Wye, Zarina, Smart Reader Worldwide chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Richard Ong, Keefe Ong and Smart Reader Kids Taman Nusa Idaman, Johor franchisee Tiong Mee Chin. — Photos: SAMUEL ONG/The Star
“This way, they will learn more about themselves and explore their strengths. These are invaluable lessons and skills that our children do not typically learn in the classroom,” he said.
Ong added the event unearthed the children’s hidden talents and allowed them to express themselves freely, which was crucial to the development of their self-confidence and overall growth.
Children aged three to six from Smart Reader Kids centres nationwide sang, danced and told stories during the finale.
Pupils from Smart Reader Kids Section 16, Shah Alam, who performed a traditional Gawai dance from Sarawak won the grand prize of RM1,000 and a trophy.
The centre’s principal Zarina Marican said the pupils worked hard and practised their dance choreography for 30 minutes every day for a month prior to the finale.
“We wanted our children to do something meaningful, so we suggested the Gawai dance, because it is uniquely Malaysian.
Kimberly enthralling the audience with her storytelling skills.
“Winning this competition has taught them they can achieve anything with hard work and perseverance while having fun and enjoying what they do,” she said.
The energetic group from Smart Reader Kids Taman Nusa Idaman, Johor Baru, who danced in cute cheerleading outfits, came in second, winning RM600 and a trophy.
Third place went to six-year-old Kimberly Chew Ern Xi from Smart Reader Kids Pusat Bandar Seberang Jaya in Penang.
Dressed in a red outfit, she stole the hearts of the judges and won RM400 and a trophy.
The top three winners walked away with sponsored prizes from Mothercare, Kidzania, Jumpstreet Asia and Smart Reader Kids, too.
Coinciding with Deepavali, pupils from Smart Reader Kids Taman Bullion Mewah, Kuala Lumpur, performed a Bollywood dance and collected the highest number of votes to win the People’s Choice Award.
The group received exclusive educational toys from Smart Reader Kids.
Consolation prize winners won Smart Reader Kids merchandise from Kidzania, Zoo Negara and Farm in the City.
Children and parents also had a fun-filled day at the carnival outside the auditorium where they enjoyed games, activities and food.