SINGAPORE - A record 198 schools participated in kindness programmes this year, an increase from just 40 in 2013, said The Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) on Thursday. The number of participating students also increased from 1,200 to 1,600 this year.
This marks the highest participation in the Kindness Awards organised by the movement since it implemented the Friend of Singa programme in 1990, and the Write for Kindness initiative in 2012, both part of the awards.
The Kindness Awards celebrates the efforts of students and schools which have championed kindness through programmes and projects.
This year, there is a new Kindness Badge category. The badge is a mark of distinction awarded to students in uniformed groups who have completed tasks or projects that promote kindness.
At the award ceremony held at the Suntec East Atrium, Dr William Wan, general secretary of SKM, said: "These kindness projects that you work on are not just a nice gesture that brings a smile to someone's face, or to help someone in need."
"It is a strong indication that with each passing year, more of us are developing the habit of kindness."
To receive the Friend of Singa award, students have to complete a kindness project within their school communities over six months to promote kindness and graciousness.
Students in Tanjong Katong Girls' School, for instance, gave out roses to the school's maintenance staff - the school's unsung heroes. They also placed a chalkboard at the school foyer to encourage everyone to write kind messages and encouraging quotes to each other.
Nineteen schools also participated in the Write for Kindness initiative this year, a national writing competition to create storybooks which promote kindness, graciousness, and consideration among pre-school children.
The top prize this year went to Bedok View Secondary School, for their story "Cat, Dog, and the Mouse in the House".