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Secondary school students write for better elderly care

June 20, 2013

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) today concluded a three-day workshop for the Write for Kindness 2013 competition, in collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Humanities & Social Sciences.

56 students in 15 participating teams from 13 secondary schools took part this year to write for the theme “Together, we care for our elderly”.

This year’s theme, “Together we care for the elderly”, is an extension of last year’s theme “Respect”.

It seeks to encourage more in-depth thoughts on respect for the elderly, a treasured tradition especially in an Asian society like Singapore, in the hope that the children will return the affection of their elders when they grow into their adulthood and turn this attachment between the young and old into a reciprocal relationship of giving-and-taking.

During the three-day workshop, Temasek Polytechnic’s Diploma in Early Childhood Studies (ECS) and instructors worked with secondary school students on three sections to help them better understand the everyday life of the elderly as well as how to write effectively.

In the “Care & Share” section, the students put themselves in the shoes of elderly people by walking around with certain senses-sight, hearing, touch, or smell-hindered, or sewing with vision obstructed through a pair of special glasses to imitate presbyopia.

In the “Child Development” section, they learnt about key aspects contributing to the holistic development of children and caught a glimpse of early childhood pedagogy.

Finally, Temasek Polytechnic students and alumni introduced the various genres of children’s literature and shared their own experiences in writing effective stories through creative story-telling and the aid of illustration.

Participating secondary students will submit their entries on elderly care to SKM by August 23.

SKM, as well as the Course Manager of ECS and the Principal of the experimental kindergarten, [email protected], at Temasek Polytechnic will select five entries to be featured in kindergarteners’ teaching materials and displayed during the monthly Kindsville tour at SKM’s kindness gallery.

An award ceremony will be held in conjunction with World Kindness Day and Friend of Singa award ceremony on Nov 13.

First launched last year, Write for Kindness is a national story writing competition designed for secondary school students to impart the knowledge that they have learnt in Character and Citizenship Education to pre-schoolers.

The inaugural competition last year, themed “Respect”, received 23 entries in total and helped promote the message of kindness and respect to pre-schoolers through age-appropriate and culturally relevant stories and illustrations. The winning entries have been well received during the monthly Kindsville tour at SKM’s kindness gallery.

Dr William Wan, General Secretary of SKM, said, “We have been receiving heartening responses from the pre-schoolers and pre-school teachers. Children are more receptive towards kindness messages from their peers and students of a similar age group.

“The Write for Kindness competition also enables us to understand kindness from the perspectives of the school children and youth. It is as enlightening to us as it is to them. We are eager to find out their thoughts on elderly care, and hopefully share their messages with adults as well.”

SKM welcomes and supports such initiatives from society members, especially campaigns that contribute to the kindness and graciousness education among school children. The Movement also looks forward to partnering Temasek Polytechnic continually on Write for Kindness in the years to come.

The Director of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Mr Ben Lim, from Temasek Polytechnic, said: “We strongly believe in early childhood education. The inaugural Write for Kindness last year has been fruitful and rewarding.

“We hope more students will join us as the project takes off and share their thoughts on kindness and contribute to the kindness education in Singapore.”

First published in AsiaOne – June 20, 2013


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