All said, The Tinkering Studio is a great place to explore as a family (admission is free for all Sc
Nestled unobtrusively at Pipit Road is PCF Sparkletots Preschool Macpherson Blk 53/54 (PCF Macpherson Blk 53). It is well known amongst the neighbourhood for its zeal to organize and participate in projects that benefit the community.
This is due to the resourcefulness of the enthusiastic and sociable principal, Mrs Adelene Ng-Won, a 19-year veteran. PCF Macpherson Blk 53 has won an armful of awards and grants for their innovative community collaborations.
A notable collaboration was the Learning Family Programme, organized by South East Community Development Council. This programme identified children from lower-income families who were lagging academically behind their classmates. While the children were taught by teachers from the centre, the parents were engaged concurrently in another class, thus equipping them to play a key role in their children’s success in their education. Through the programme, parents commented that they were able to bond and grow closer with their children.
A conspicuous collaboration was the colourful wall murals contributed by ITE students for the centre’s official opening of the new wing in 2011. Painted according to the children’s request for cartoon characters like the Care Bears and so on, this has encouraged the children (even the newly enrolled ones) to take extra care not to dirty the walls.
Adelene believes in building strong ties with her community and parents. Having fostered a strong parents support group, they are actively involved in organizing events for her students, for example, local festivals like Hari Raya Puasa and Deepavali. Many of he ex-students have also kept in contact with her. Just 3 years ago, some of them, who have gone on to attend Macpherson Secondary School, requested to fulfill their CIP hours at her centre. It turned out to be a huge success and is now an annual affair. Recently, we caught up with the 5th batch of students who were conducting their CIP at the centre. The Sec 3 students very quickly established rapport and trust with the younger children, aged from 4-6 years old. It was heart warming to see the younger ones doing their best to follow the instructions given. The 15 year-olds, on the other hand, had to learn to bring themselves to the level of the younger ones so as to communicate better. Throughout, there was much laughter and shrieks.
When it was time to leave, there were lots of ‘hi-fives’ and hugs while the bolder ones went unabashedly to their favourite big brothers and sisters for a ‘wefie’. Ms Susana Tan, the teacher-in-charge of the CIP students felt that such programmes with the community help students develop more initiative and play an active role in their own community; a view echoed by student leader,
Naseema Begum, who is the class chairman. She also realized that she needed to talk to the shy children one-on-one in order to draw them out. In the process, she realized that she has a way with children. A future teacher in the making?