25th anniversary souvenir

It’s fun with Funday

By Hiranthi Fernando

Funday Times, the children’s magazine of the Sunday Times was launched on August 13, 2000. It was a 16-page full colour A4 size magazine conceptualized by its first editor Mihiri Wikramanayake. The Funday Times was the very first separate children’s magazine in a mainstream newspaper. Gradually the other Sunday papers introduced similar children’s
magazines and today it has become standard fare.

Current Funday Times of 2012

On December 22, 2002, the new-look Funday Times was launched in tabloid size with a new masthead and 16 pages. Over the years, the number of pages increased and more features and competitions were introduced. The Funday Times Club has a huge membership which keeps growing every month.

Regular events are held for groups of club members. Workshops focusing on the environment, culture and heritage are held regularly, sponsored by Nuga Gama, Cinnamon Grand Hotel. Annual Christmas events, Avurudu celebrations and other fun events have been held for members at Excel World, Leisure World and Wonder World. Apart from events for members, several special events have been organised to celebrate Funday Times anniversaries, open to all readers in the relevant age group.

First tabloid size Funday Times – December 2002

A Kid Reporter group was introduced whereby children send in articles on interesting places they have visited, events they have taken part in or interviews they have done. The aim of this programme is to introduce and interest the children in newspaper reporting.

First Funday Times – August 13, 2000

Funday Times has had regular links with the Young Readers programme of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN). Several projects have been carried out to promote reading among children. To celebrate World Literacy Day, a serial story sent by WAN has been published for the past several years along with a competition sponsored by Vijitha Yapa Bookshop. A World Newspaper Reading Passport, with interesting assignments for our young readers to complete, was also published. ‘Internet in the Family’, a guide created by WAN, to help parents and children when they go online, was issued free to interested club members and other readers.

Some of the other activities of the Funday Times over the years have included an All Island Essay Competition sponsored by People’s Bank, Junior General Knowledge Quiz sponsored by Nestle and ‘Learning at the Library’, a competition designed to encourage children to utilize libraries. This programme was carried out in association with the National Library & Documentation Services Board.
This year, our 12th Anniversary, Funday Times is planning to conduct a Junior General Knowledge Quiz for schools islandwide. We thank our readers for their continued support through the years.

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