Project Tinker Kit - Literacy Art collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic
As part of their Final Year Project at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Deborah and Rachel collaborated with Preschool Market on Project Able. Bond. Children, or simply, Project ABC. The aim is to improve the language and literacy abilities of children from low-income families, as well as encourage parent-child interaction. The project lasted six months and showcased four separate phases developed by Deborah and Rachel. The first phase involved the design of a literacy component for Tinker Kit; the second, the creation of a picturebook series; the third, a parent-child excursion to Central Fire Station; and the last, a celebration with the children. The theme of the project was “My Community and I”.
Before coming up with the concept, Deborah and Rachel did their research via surveys on children from Le Kottage and Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre to get a better understanding of the needs and abilities of children from low-income families.
Next, they sourced for schools that were willing to partner with them in their project and found Thye Hua Kwan Moral Childcare (MacPherson), My First Skool (Serangoon) and My First Skool (Tampines).
For the first phase of their project, Deborah and Rachel planned and designed literacy art activities and materials that went into the Tinker Kit. They then held Tinker Kit sessions with the children from the various centres.
For the second phase, Deborah and Rachel came up with four storylines for their picturebook series, Superheroes in the Community. The identified superheroes are police officer, fireman, paramedic and cleaner. Deborah and Rachel wrote, illustrated, edited and printed the series which is about how the superheroes protect and serve the community. They then conducted story reading sessions with the children from the various centres.
For the third phase, Deborah and Rachel planned a parent-child excursion to the Central Fire Station. They chose the Central Fire Station because they wanted to extend the children’s learning from one of the picturebooks in the series that they had created. Deborah and Rachel had also created a book of activities and songs for the excursion, which the parents and children could do together. During the excursion, the volunteer firefighters explained to the children and parents the equipment and vehicles that they use and the routines that they follow daily. The children and parents then spent some time exploring the fire station before returning to the childcare centre for post-excursion activities. Again, there were various activities the parents and children could do together.
For the last phase of their project, Deborah and Rachel thought it fitting to present certificates of participation to the children and their parents. They also gave each child a Tinker Kit.
They hoped that the children had a fruitful learning experience and that what was done could impact more children and families in the future.