Family-bonding with ST scrapbook

Puzzles, stickers, cut-out cards, even a word bank - all features of The Straits Times' new scrapbook for young learners called STep: My Year In The News 2014 (above).
Puzzles, stickers, cut-out cards, even a word bank - all features of The Straits Times' new scrapbook for young learners called STep: My Year In The News 2014 (above).

Puzzles, stickers, cut-out cards, even a word bank - all features of The Straits Times' new scrapbook for young learners called STep: My Year In The News 2014.

The distinctive red binder - for children aged nine and up - contains 40 brightly coloured pages of English and values-learning activities pegged to the paper's articles and pictures.

Buyers will continually receive e-mails over the year with digital freebies and additional educational activities.

It will be available to all home and school buyers when it is launched on March 15 with a scrapbooking session exclusively for Straits Times subscribers at SPH News Centre in Toa Payoh North.

It will include a session by the creator of the book's activities, Ms Debra Francisco, and a 90-minute masterclass on creating a family tree by experts from leading craft retailer PaperMarket. Participants receive the scrapbook and a PaperMarket kit filled with stickers, embellishments and paper.

Valued at more than $130, the session will be available to 40 parent-child teams at just $20 a pair.

The scrapbook is a first from the team behind the paper's award-winning young reader magazines, IN and Little Red Dot, and is specifically the brainchild of its own craft enthusiasts: deputy editor Serene Luo and correspondent Francisco.

Schools editor Serene Goh said the two wanted to create a "living document".

"They wanted to get young readers thinking about the impact of current events on their lives, about the characters they meet in news articles, and go on an adventure," she said.

"Of course, their secret mission was to teach English and build character, but with all those adorable stickers, there's no way it won't be fun."

Ms Sylvia Aloysius, 40, mother to two primary school-going children and a teenager, is already excited about the prospect. "Kids these days do not know much about current affairs as they are too busy with their gadgets. This scrapbook will help with family bonding and spark an interest in my kids to find out more about their world."

Interested parents with children aged seven to 12 may register for the workshop by e-mailing davtan@sph.com.sg or ccarmen@sph.com.sg.

The scrapbook may be purchased directly from SPH at $49.90. Subscribers of The Straits Times pay the discounted price of $39.90, while subscribers to Little Red Dot pay $29.90.