Singapore, 13 November 2014 – A total of 198 (169 FOS + 19 WFK + 10 KBA; increase of 40 schools from 2013) schools participated in school-based kindness programmes this year, marking the highest level of participation of the Kindness Awards since the programmes were implemented. Organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), the Kindness Awards celebrate the efforts of students and schools who have championed the cause of kindness through programmes and projects initiated in their communities. This year, awards were handed out across three programme categories – the Friend of Singa, Write for Kindness, and the inaugural Kindness Badge award. Held at Suntec East Atrium, the ceremony was attended by more than 2,000 guests comprising students, teachers, partners, and supporters.
Over the years, the awards have evolved and grown to reflect our changing society, and to better engage with young people. One of those changes is the introduction of a new Kindness Badge category. The Kindness Badge is a “mark of distinction” awarded to students in uniformed groups who have completed tasks or projects that promote kindness and graciousness amongst their peers, within their schools, or amongst family, neighbours, and friends. The Kindness Badge demonstrates that kindness is a habit that can be practiced anywhere, not just within the classroom, or within a specialised programme or curriculum.
Guest-of-honour Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth and Ministry of Social and Family Development, said, “It is heart-warming to see how our schools have been contributing to the values education of our young people, even extending their projects outside of the school compound, and into the neighbourhood and beyond. The culture of kindness should be nurtured not just in school and at home, but also in every aspect of our society. By involving uniformed organisations, who themselves are already firm allies of pro-social values, in the Kindness Badge programme, we are able to create a holistic, consistent framework for the promotion of kindness and graciousness in Singapore.”
Changes are also coming for the long-standing Friend of Singa award. This year, the Friend of Singa programme saw Kindness Ambassadors from 169 schools participating in workshops to learn project management skills, before applying those skills to their own kindness projects under the theme of “A _____ of Kindness starts with one thoughtful me”.
Come 2015, the Friend of Singa programme will no longer include tiered awards based on a competitive element. Instead, schools will be recognised for their participation and commitment to kindness based on the number of years the school has been participating in the Friend of Singa programme.
Dr William Wan, General Secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, said, “It is difficult to objectively measure kindness. Can kindness be a competition, with some acts of kindness being valued more than others? I believe that there is only being kind, and being unkind, being thoughtful and considerate, or thoughtless and inconsiderate. Every good deed, however great or small, is equally valuable to building a Nation of Kindness.”
The third category of awards is for Write for Kindness, a national story-writing competition, organised together with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Temasek Polytechnic. Teams are formed from amongst the various secondary schools to put together storybooks that promote the values of kindness, graciousness, and consideration among pre-school aged children. These storybooks are then judged based on various criteria including age-appropriateness, cultural relevance, creativity in writing and illustration, and how well they reflect the theme, where this year’s theme was “An Ocean of Kindness Starts with ONE Brave Me”
The top prize this year went to Bedok View Secondary School, for their story titled “Cat, Dog, and the Mouse in the House”. Jurong Secondary School’s “Axol the Hero”, and Nanyang Girls’ High School’s “Kindness Underwater” placed second and third respectively.
M Mohanaruby, participant from Bedok View Secondary School said, “This was our first time participating in the Write for Kindness programme, so we were very surprised to learn that we had won. We are very happy that the judges enjoyed our story, and we hope that the children will enjoy it too!”
To round out the Kindness Award celebrations, teams from Friend of Singa participating schools were provided with a canvas bag for them to decorate and turn into artworks depicting kindness. In partnership with Club Rainbow, these bags would then be donated to the charity’s beneficiaries at their annual Christmas party.
A full list of award winners can be found below.
|Bedok Green Primary School
|Beatty Secondary School
|Raffles Girls’ School
|St Margaret’s Secondary School
|Towner Gardens School
|Ang Mo Kio Primary School
|Balestier Hill Primary School
|Global Indian International School, Balestier
|Punggol Green Primary School
|Xinmin Primary School
|Global Indian International School, East Coast (Secondary)
|Tanjong Katong Girls’ School
|Woodlands Secondary School
|Ai Tong School
|Casuarina Primary School
|Edgefield Primary School
|Global Indian International School, East Coast (Primary)
|Rivervale Primary School
|Bishan Park Secondary School
|Hong Kah Secondary School
|Nanyang Girls’ High School
|Lee Kong Chian Gardens School
|Anderson Primary School
|Holy Innocents’ Primary School
|New Town Primary School
|Yishun Primary School
|Xinghua Primary School
|Fuhua Secondary School
|Gan Eng Seng School
|St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School
|Best Originality Award
|Woodlands Primary School
|Best Newcomer Award
|Frontier Primary School
|Best Sustainability Award
|Christ Church Secondary School
|Best Agent Community Outreach Award
|Si Ling Secondary School