Singapore, 13 November 2015 – Organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), the annual Kindness Awards was held earlier today at Golden Village at VivoCity and attended by more than 1,800 guests comprising students, teachers, partners, and supporters. The event recognised the efforts of schools and students who have helped to promote values of kindness, graciousness and consideration, while empowering students to continue to make a difference, within and outside of their school communities.
Currently in its 25th year, the Kindness Awards have grown in both size and stature, with new schools joining the programmes each year. This year’s awards comprised two different programmes – Friend of Singa and Kindness Badge – which support the Ministry of Education’s existing Character and Citizenship Education (CCE) curriculum of instilling values, such as respect, integrity, care and harmony. These values are in line with SKM’s vision of a kinder and more gracious society, and lend credence to the theme of “A Nation of Kindness starts with One”.
The Friend of Singa award, now in its 25th year, commended students from 169 schools who have conceptualised and executed thoughtful kindness-related projects. By applying their creativity and exercising leadership, the student ambassadors tackled a variety of topics in their schools ranging from fostering gratitude to embracing differences and discouraging littering. This year, participating schools were also recognised based on the number of years they have participated in the programme.
Under the Kindness Badge programme, currently in its second year, students from various uniformed groups were honoured for completing tasks that encouraged kindness and graciousness among their peers, within their schools, in their families and communities. Out of the 33 schools that participated, 17 were recipients of the Gold award.
Five projects stood out among the submissions for the two programmes under this year’s Kindness Awards.
Friend of Singa
The students from Casuarina Primary School launched various initiatives to encourage staff and students to be kind to one another. Recognising that every little act counts, they seeded small acts such as smiling and greeting one another in school and sending heartfelt letters to their family members, amongst others.
The difficulty in building person-to-person connections was a problem identified by the Hong Kah Secondary School ambassadors. To address this and create an atmosphere of kindness, students were encouraged to perform kind acts, from giving hugs to those who were feeling down, sharing their schoolmates’ stories of kindness to letting their peers experience the work done by non-teaching staff.
In order to create a conducive environment for learning, the students from APSN-Delta Senior School helped their peers to identify their bad habits and used a handbook, video and postcards to guide them in overcoming these habits.
The St. John’s cadets at Clementi Town Secondary, recipients of the Kindness Badge Gold award, carried out a used shoes charity drive, where a record-breaking feat had the most number of students run barefoot for 200 metres before their school’s Cross Country marathon. The initiative was organised to let staff and students put themselves in the shoes of those enduring poverty and hardship, and to encourage them to ‘pay it forward’ by doing a good deed.
Other recipients of the Gold award were the Scouts from Gan Eng Seng Secondary School, who wanted to spread kindness in the workplace and larger community. For their project, they conducted a survey and identified that nurses were among the least appreciated occupations in Singapore. They then asked the public to write notes of appreciation, which were compiled into a scrapbook and presented to the appreciative nurses at the Singapore General Hospital.
Dr William Wan, General Secretary of SKM, said, “A young person picks up many important values during their formative years that may well last a lifetime. The quality of the projects on display today bears testament to the creativity of our youths and their great will to make a positive difference in Singapore. It is very encouraging to see them working together to make their home, school, and community, a kinder and better place. I hope they will continue to apply this sense of curiousity, thoughtfulness and enthusiasm to what they observe in their everyday lives, ultimately becoming changemakers who will shape our society into a kinder and more gracious one.”
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