Students win praise for kind acts of giving

Pupils from Global Indian International School, Queenstown Campus (Primary), performing an Indian folk dance at the Kindness Awards ceremony last Friday. This year, 30 schools won the Friend of Singa award, which is named after courtesy mascot Singa
Pupils from Global Indian International School, Queenstown Campus (Primary), performing an Indian folk dance at the Kindness Awards ceremony last Friday.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Pupils from Global Indian International School, Queenstown Campus (Primary), performing an Indian folk dance at the Kindness Awards ceremony last Friday. This year, 30 schools won the Friend of Singa award, which is named after courtesy mascot Singa
This year, 30 schools won the Friend of Singa award, which is named after courtesy mascot Singa the Lion and aims to encourage good acts among students.

Some helped peers in need, others baked cookies to spread cheer to foreign workers

At Jiemin Primary in Yishun, "kindness ambassadors" sold vegetables grown in the school garden to raise money for students in the financial assistance scheme.

At Marsiling Secondary, students baked cookies to give to Bangladeshi construction workers during Hari Raya as a token of thanks for the work they do in Singapore.

At the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore School, students from the senior "functional" classes helped push students on wheelchairs from the bus to the hall.

These were some of the entries for this year's Friend of Singa award, named after the courtesy mascot. The award, which is part of the Kindness Awards, aims to encourage good acts among students.

Last Friday, a ceremony to honour the winners was held at Our Tampines Hub, attended by guest of honour Masagos Zulkifli, the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

This year, 30 schools won the Friend of Singa award, out of a total of 166 schools that sent in entries. Kindness Badges were also given out to students in uniformed groups.

Meridian Junior College won the first prize in the Write for Kindness award, a national story-writing competition organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement with the National Book Development Council of Singapore, for secondary school, junior college and centralised institute students to promote kindness through children's stories.

One school that won the Friend of Singa award this year is the Global Indian International School.

Nishant Patil, 10, a pupil from the school, said: "No one has ever become poor by giving."

Nishant and his schoolmates created a "Garden of Generosity" - a display board that noted down all kind acts by peers and staff at the school. His classmate and fellow "kindness activist" T.J. Kannan, 10, said: "Today at lunch, I gave my friend 20 cents to buy Lays chips and then he gave me two Lays (chips). Kindness comes back to you."

This year also marked the first year that the Kindness Awards had an entry from a madrasah.

This was from Madrasah Al-Ma'arif Al-Islamiah.

Students in the secondary level at the girls' school set up boxes of sanitary pads, panty liners and disposable underwear for their peers and teachers after finding out that most girls at the school had trouble accessing these items.

Mr Masagos commended the award organiser for inviting Islamic schools to participate this year, saying: "The bonds of our multiracial society are further strengthened by our showing respect and care for different races and cultures."

He also praised students from Orchid Park Secondary, who started an outreach campaign to combat cyber bullying. They created posters and conducted an assembly sharing session to educate their schoolmates.

One school that won the Friend of Singa award this year was the Global Indian International School.

Nishant Patil, 10, a pupil from the school, said: "No one has ever become poor by giving."

Nishant and his schoolmates created a "Garden of Generosity" - a display board that noted down all kind acts by peers and staff at the school.

His classmate and fellow "kindness activist" T.J. Kannan, 10, said: "Today at lunch, I gave my friend 20 cents to buy Lays chips and then he gave me two Lays (chips). Kindness comes back to you."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2017, with the headline 'Students win praise for kind acts of giving'. Print Edition | Subscribe