More children to benefit from free English programme

More children to benefit from free English programme

More children are set to benefit from a free English literacy programme by Central Singapore Community Development Council, thanks to StarHub’s sponsorship of $250,000.

With the telco’s donation, the programme was able to roll out a more structured and comprehensive curriculum called NurturePlus, to improve the English language literacy of children from low-income families.

This will be the first year that the enhanced curriculum has been completed by 450 beneficiaries, and also the third consecutive year that StarHub is demonstrating its support of the Nurture Programme. StarHub first sponsored the programme in 2011 with a donation of $100,000, and came in as the title sponsor for the first time in 2012 with a $200,000 sponsorship.

The sponsorship for 2013 was announced at a cheque presentation held this afternoon at CHIJ Toa Payoh Secondary. Mrs Chan Hoi San, Head of Human Resources, StarHub, presented the cheque to Guest-of-Honour Zainudin Nordin, Adviser to Bishan-Toa Payoh Grassroots Organisations and the Nurture Programme Ambassador.

Prior to the cheque presentation, about 255 Nurture beneficiaries had fun at a Nurturing Stars Carnival at CHIJ Toa Payoh Secondary. They played games and took part in creative activities run by 60 StarHub volunteers, as well as indulged in some tasty treats. The carnival was jointly organised by StarHub and Central Singapore CDC to celebrate the hard work of the volunteers and encourage the children to continue giving their best in their studies.

The Nurture Programme began in 2007 as an initiative by Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC), to provide children aged seven to 12 from low income families with opportunities to improve their English language skills and increase their self-confidence. Volunteers carry out interactive activities like story-telling, reading, and music and drama, to help the children build up their linguistic proficiency and confidence. To date, 650 children have benefited from the Nurture Programme.

Yip Qiao En, age 8, has been attending the programme for the past two years. Originally a shy and introverted child, her mother as well as the programme’s volunteers have observed a change in Qiao En since her participation in the Nurture Programme. Mdm Koh Poh Choo, Qiao En’s mother, said: “The programme has helped my daughter improve her ability to communicate with others better. Through the weekly activities, she has also become more enthusiastic and outspoken.”

Mdm Koh recounted an incident where Qiao En made a headband and hair piece for her during an arts and craft session conducted as part of the programme. “I can really see her confidence improving through the programme, especially when she happily presents me with handmade items such as these,” said Mdm Koh, who is a single-mother and works to support her two daughters. Her elder daughter, Qiao Wen, 12, is also a beneficiary under the programme. “I’m very grateful for the help and support extended to my daughters through the Nurture programme, as I am unable to afford the extra fees that these programmes would cost.”

StarHub has always believed in being a socially responsible corporate citizen, believing that it is important to give back to the community in which they operate.

“StarHub has always believed in empowering the youth as they are our future. In line with this, we are constantly looking for ways to help youth who are disadvantaged-like those under the Nurture Programme-to give them the same resources and opportunities their peers enjoy. Only then they can realise their dreams and ambitions and grow up to make their own difference in society,” said Mrs Chan.

“These children have so many talents which need the right environment to be cultivated,” Mrs Chan added. “We feel that this programme is an excellent platform for them to discover their own strengths and to build on those traits to achieve things they would never before have thought possible. The StarHub-Central Singapore Nurture Programme is not just an educational supplement; it is an engaging, enriching and empowering experience that will mould the adults of tomorrow.”