What's inside the Red Box?
On 16 Sep 2016, St. James' Church Kindergarten (SJCK) launched its inaugural Red Box Day, an annual effort to showcase its children's community projects and encourage them to dream big for Singapore. This project is in conjunction with Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)'s Start Small Dream Big project, where children work on various community projects.
Red Box Day is inspired by the red box used by Singapore's late Founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, as he used a red box as his briefcase while he was serving in the office and it was known to contain his aspirations and dreams for the nation.
Minister for Social and Family Development Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, was the Guest of Honour at the event, and he highlighted that the Red Box is of great significance to Singapore as it "represents our hopes and dreams", children must continue to pursue their dreams for Singapore and for the community.
Red Box Gallery
Children put together red boxes of ideas of their dreams for Singapore and how we can improve our living environment and even love for the environment.
Guests and children were invited to the galleries to view SJCK's journey leading to Red Box Day!
From ME to WE
"From Me to We" was introduced as part of SJCK's Nursery, K1 and K2 curriculum in order to instil a sense of community among children at SJCK. The programme helped the children to not only become more aware of others but also to appreciate the uniqueness of others.
Start Small Dream Big
In SJCK, every class had a community contribution component as part of their project work. Children raised funds for the President's Challenge and contributed to ECDA's Start Small Dream Big initiative in small ways.
The Future of Us
"Together we can dream of a bright and colourful future for Singapore - our city of possibilities. Our future is up to us to create. What would Singapore look like 50 years from now?"
Children had the opportunities to discuss with their teachers about how they felt Singapore would look like in 50 years time. Together, the children and teachers created artifacts to reflect their dreams for the future of Singapore.
Letters to Singapore
Children and visitors also get a chance to drop a letter into the mailboxes for Singapore!
"Whisper your dreams into the Dream pipe~~"
Let your Dreams Fly
Children and guests also have a chance to be captured in the Red Box!
Last but not least, together with Crayola, Preschool Market is delighted to support this initiative. About 20,000 of the red boxes will be given out on Children's Day to preschools taking part in ECDA's Start Small Dream Big project.
Gallery of Photos at the event
On 21 July, 26 K1 and K2 children, 4 parent volunteers and 6 teachers of Little Big Preschool went down to Macpherson area to give out their Bucket of Love to the residents and CARElderly Seniors Activity Centre.
The event was preceded by a Father’s Day Walk-a-thon and Art Auction to raise funds to purchase the groceries to fill the bucket. This family event was greatly supported by the parents and they all enjoyed a nice walk as a family at Telok Kurau Park.
Some parents not only supported in kind but also came along for the packing and distribution of the buckets. Early in the morning, staff and parent volunteers loaded the bus with all the goodies for the bucket. Soon, the children boarded and they excitedly went on the journey to Macpherson.
Once they disembarked, children and adults quickly settled into 5 groups and started to fill up the buckets with goodies of love to the brim. Each group also came up with their own creatively-drawn bucket tag for each bucket which was heavy with love.
However, the weight did not deter the children and all were eager to present them to the residents. Children were taught to knock politely, introduce themselves and present the bucket respectfully to the residents.
The joy on recipients’ face was like the fuel to the tired arms and legs. Some children still wanted to keep going after more than 1 hours of distribution, they did not want to stop until the last bucket was given away.
Although it was Little Big Preschool’s first time joining the Start Small Dream Big initiative, they are no stranger to community work. For many years, Principal, Ms Ruby has led the centre in various outreach projects.
She believes that it is important to provide opportunities for children to get involved in community work as many children now has the mindset that whatever they wish for will be fulfilled by their parents.
Parents are also appreciative of the centre’s project.
“It is a meaningful project where children are able to help out and give back to the society. My child enjoyed the fundraising event. “ mother of Yi Juin, 5 year old. (sorry I did not capture the mother’s name)
“This project provided us with the opportunity to have an experience of the different living conditions in Singapore. It is very helpful and my son is very proud that he can help”. Adela, mother of Michael, 5 year-old.
Ms Ruby also shared that Start Small Dream Big was a thoughtful initiative to encourage young children to give back to the society. And be trained to look out for others. This project helps teachers to not just focus on academic success but also to be considerate and generous towards others.
PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Tampines West Blk 942 put together an enriching experience for Start Small Dream Big project for the children to have a chance to give back to the society. They were involved in every phase, from creating art works, to setting up a restaurant, purchasing, packing and finally distributing the groceries. The children had a complete experience of fund-raising and reaped the fruits of the smiles on the faces of the recipients.
We were privileged to join the children on a trip to Giant Hypermarket on 8 June 2016.
Prior to this grocery trip, the preschoolers created artwork for an art auction and set up a restaurant in their school, serving their parents food and beverages. The proceeds from the Restaurant Day and freewill donation were used to purchase groceries for the needy families.
Teacher Claren, also incorporated elements from the IDA Playmaker Pilot to create a lighted signboard and also a buzzer for the restaurant.
Here are some of the photographs from the restaurant day, kindly provided by Teacher Claren:
With the funds raised from the restaurant and art sale, about 40 K1 and K2 preschoolers aged 5 to 6 set off to Giant Hypermarket with high spirits and excitement. They were looking forward to getting groceries for the needy families. Even in the bus, they were eagerly sharing their supermarket experiences with each other.
Upon arrival to the Hypermarket, the preschoolers were split into three different groups, accompanied by their teachers. Each group was responsible for getting different household necessities and groceries. Through this grocery trip, the preschoolers also had an opportunity to learn about various household items outside of their classroom, as their teachers introduced them to the items that they passed by.
Shortly after, the preschoolers located their items in the various lanes. Before picking out the groceries and placing them into the trolley, the teachers introduced the food labels to the preschoolers. For example, checking for a healthier choice label on the product. Also, teachers reminded the preschoolers to check for the expiry date before picking up the product. The preschoolers were eager to help their teachers in picking up the items, and they worked together as a team, forming a relay system with one another to transfer the items into the trolley.
Relay system to pass the cans of sardines!
The bottle of oil may be heavy, but with strong determination, our young preschoolers persevered!
Counting and making sure he grabs the right number of packets needed
With three trolleys full of household products and groceries, the preschoolers regrouped and proceeded to the checkout counters together. Once again, they worked well with one another to collaboratively place the items on the conveyor belt to be checked out.
Working together to transfer the groceries onto the conveyor belt to prepare for checkout.
After the trip, the preschoolers went back to the centre to create gift tags and pack the gift hampers.
Parents from the Parent Support Group helped out with the packing of the items. These included the purchases from Giant and donations from parents of infant to nursery 2 children and also centre teachers.
Finally, the children went with teachers and parent volunteers to distribute the gift packs to the families. They were all well-received by the recipients.
The whole project was a valuable experience for our young preschoolers. It not only helped the needy families but also provided an opportunity for the preschoolers to gain a learning experience outside of their classroom. Most importantly, it has taught them to care, share and do their part for the community.
Team @ Preschool Market
We are just very passionate for the Early Childhood sector!