Winning mix of creativity and initiative

This story first appeared in The Straits Times' Little Red Dot on July 1, 2014

SHOP FOR YOUR SCHOOL CONTEST

It was not just the creativity of their ideas, but also their sense of initiative, that propelled three groups to victory at the third edition of Shop For Your School.

The competition, organised by Little Red Dot and Singapore Press Holdings Foundation (SPHF), aimed to empower young people to make a difference and take pride in their contributions to their community.

From Feb 16, primary school pupils could submit plans to improve their school or community with a wishlist of how the prize money should be spent. After some deliberation over the 125 entries which were submitted, the judges, comprising representatives from this newspaper and SPHF, picked their top three choices.

This year’s winning teams are:

Innova Primary School, comprising team members Wong Wai Yi, 11; Ting Tsin Wei, 10; and Tammy Eng, 11; for their proposed partnership with Fei Yue Family Centre to help low-income and single-parent families in the school’s neighbourhood; Temasek Primary School, comprising team members Annabelle Tan, 10; Jessie Cheong, nine; and Lisianne Chan, 10; for their proposal to build an eco-friendly school garden; and Pathlight School, comprising team members Joel Kee Wei Onn and Jason Ong Wei Boon, both 17, for their proposal to improve the quality of life for its pupils with better learning resources, such as books and bookshelves.

Innova Primary School came in first and won $5,000. Second-place Temasek Primary School received $3,000, while third-place Pathlight School got $2,000. All prizes were sponsored by SPHF.

Although each team had a unique idea, what proved to be a common thread among the winning teams was their sense of initiative, with the Temasek team a prime example.

“Not a single bit of help,” was Mrs Sally Chew’s emphatic response, when this newspaper asked if her pupils had asked for help. “It was totally their project,” added

Mrs Chew, who is Temasek Primary School’s subject head of aesthetics and the team members’ form teacher.

Pointing to the motivation that all the participating groups demonstrated, Ms Serene Goh, The Straits Times Schools editor, said: “It reinforces the belief at The Straits Times that kids are the best people to come up with imaginative, civic ideas to make a positive change, right where they are. We are proud and extremely happy to support their ideas and causes.”

Additional reporting by Ang Yiying, Laremy Lee and Amanda Phoon