Sharity goes online to click with kids

Sharity meeting children from Methodist Girls' School and Rainbow Centre at the event yesterday, which was also attended by Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and Family Development Faishal Ibrahim, the guest of honour.
Sharity meeting children from Methodist Girls' School and Rainbow Centre at the event yesterday, which was also attended by Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and Family Development Faishal Ibrahim, the guest of honour. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Waves of nostalgia hit teacher Rebekah Foong as she watched Sharity the cuddly Community Chest (ComChest) mascot walk on stage to squeals and laughter from pupils at Methodist Girls' School (MGS).

Sharity the pink elephant - a familiar figure to people like Ms Foong who grew up here in the 1980s and 1990s - was making a guest appearance in the school hall.

The elephant in blue dungarees has also gone high-tech and moved online, with a new website that was launched yesterday.

The event, part of the official website launch organised by the Community Chest, the fund-raising arm of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), was held in conjunction with MGS' 130th anniversary celebrations.

Ms Foong, 32, fondly remembers receiving activity packs full of Sharity stickers in primary school. She said Sharity's transition online will make its message even more relevant and accessible, noting: "The kids are digital natives and a website like this with interactive activities is very engaging for students."

NCSS introduced the mascot in 1984 to spread the message of caring and sharing to children here.

Sharity's online debut aims to provide primary school pupils, teachers and parents with pertinent information, such as ways to interact with people with disabilities and deal with challenges in school.

The website features songs, teaching material for classroom activities, games and contests.

Mr Chew Kwee San, vice-chairman of the Community Chest Committee, said: "My hope for the website is that it becomes more than a source of information, and enables people to form a virtual community that promotes sharing, encouragement and role modelling."

The website may be viewed at http://www.sharity.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2017, with the headline 'Sharity goes online to click with kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe