19 March 2014
Singapore, 19 March 2014 – Over 600 children from low-income families under Central Singapore Community Development Council (中区社区发展理事会) will benefit from the StarHub-Central Singapore Nurture Programme (培育计划), thanks to StarHub’s (星和) continued title sponsorship of $240,000.
The StarHub-Central Singapore Nurture Programme is a free English literacy programme that empowers the children to improve their academic abilities and boost their self esteem, by inculcating a love for literature through engaging activities.
To commemorate the title sponsorship, 52 StarHub employee volunteers took 136 Nurture beneficiaries on an adrenalin-fuelled journey of exploration at the Science Centre Singapore. The various teams had to scour the Science Centre, racing against time and the other teams, for answers to a list of questions on Challenge Sheets. The activities were meant to spur the children to discover for themselves that education can be a fun-filled adventure, much like the learning of a language through literature.
Mrs Chan Hoi San, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, StarHub (陈海珊, 人事部总监, 星和), presented the cheque for the title sponsorship to Guest-of-Honour Mr Sam Tan, Mayor of Central Singapore District (中区市长, 陈振泉) at the event this morning.
“StarHub has always been a socially responsible corporate citizen and has been giving back to empower individuals and groups within the community through the StarHub Sparks Fund since 2000,” said Mrs Chan. “We see families as important building blocks of society, and it is the children who need to be built up and nurtured as they are the future of Singaporean families.”
“Children have so many talents, especially these days, but they just need a fertile environment to blossom”, she continued. “StarHub feels that the Nurture programme provides an experience that will help the children actualise their potential. That is why StarHub believes in empowering the youth through Nurture, to give them the same resources and opportunities that their peers enjoy. Only then they can realise their dreams and ambitions and grow up to make their own difference in society.”
One such child is eight year-old Kasnirfiqah Binte Mohd Kasman. Kasnirfiqah was initially a passive participant who gradually began to take interest in the weekly reading sessions held at Nurture @ Towner Road, which is supported by AWWA Family Service Centre. A student from Cedar Primary School, Kasnirfiqah started to participate actively in the programme’s activities and increasingly gained self-confidence. Through guidance from the programme’s trainers, Kasnirfiqah has seen significant improvements in her proficiency of the English language, and her level of reading competency has increased from Level 4 to Level 21, which is above the reading level for her age.
“Learning in the Nurture programme is a lot of fun! I am happy that my English results have improved,” said Kasnirfiqah.
“I am extremely heartened to see volunteers from StarHub—as well as their children—taking time out during the school holidays to spend time with our Nurture beneficiaries. It is our belief that all children deserve an equal opportunity to advance in life, and the Nurture programme provides them with a platform to do so. With StarHub’s generous contribution, we hope to be able to reach out to even more children in the Central Singapore District this year,” said Mr Tan.
Being a family-centric company, StarHub also saw 48 children of its employee volunteers taking part in the activities and helping the Nurture children in the various challenges.
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.
This is the third year of the infocommunications provider’s title donation and the fourth year of its support, which has since benefitted more than 1,000 children under the programme. StarHub first sponsored the programme in 2011 with a $100,000 donation and came in as the title sponsor for the first time in 2012 with a $200,000 sponsorship. This was increased to $250,000 for 2013. StarHub’s title sponsorship also allows Central Singapore CDC to run a more structured and comprehensive NurturePlus curriculum to improve the English language literacy of the children.