Schools send care packages to cheer up quarantined pupils

St Andrew's Junior School sent care packages to about 180 pupils and staff in 80 locations. PHOTOS: PARENTS OF THE P3 COHORT, NORMAN SUM FAMILY

SINGAPORE - To lift the spirits of pupils and parents under quarantine, some schools have sent them care packages containing drinks and snacks.

St Andrew's Junior School, which has had three pupils infected with Covid-19, sent care packages to about 180 students and staff in 80 locations last Friday. Each package included a card, an Old Chang Kee snack box sponsored by the school's alumni and a miniature rugby ball to represent the school's hallmark sport.

"The school saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate the values which we have been teaching our Saints in the most authentic setting," said Ms Patsy Neo, principal of St Andrew's Junior School, adding that the values include empathy, unity and resilience.

She noted that it was challenging to pack the items and deliver them to the doorsteps of recipients within just five days.

Through the packages, the school aimed to give hope, show love and provide support to those under quarantine. "We want them to know we are with them no matter what," said Ms Neo.

At least two other schools have also arranged for care packages to be sent to pupils and parents who are serving quarantine.

Kong Hwa School organised what it called Operation Cheer to lift the spirits of its pupils and teachers in quarantine. Four of its pupils had tested positive for Covid-19 as of last Thursday.

Catholic High School, which has had one pupil down with Covid-19, distributed care packages to quarantined pupils last Saturday as part of a joint initiative with parent groups. Besides a card, healthy snacks and facial masks, the package also contained a customised school jigsaw puzzle.

Mr Poh Chun Leck, principal of Catholic High School, said the school hopes the puzzle will strengthen the bond between parent and child as they quarantine together.

Those who received the packages told The Straits Times they were touched.

Initially worried that her son Adam Tan, 11, a Primary 6 pupil at St Andrew's, would not be able to cope with the stress of being swabbed and quarantined, project manager Janice Lim, 46, was moved by the school's efforts.

"It helps my boy feel he is being remembered and he is not the only one going through this," she said. "I also realised it takes a lot of effort to mobilise the staff for this project."

For Primary 3 pupil Isaiah Ho, eight, and his father Josiah Ho, 36, the St Andrew's rugby ball helped to ease boredom during quarantine.

Mr Ho, who is in the advertising industry, said: "It's a very nice gesture from the school and that little rugby ball did help in terms of giving us something else to do other than what we have already brought here."

Catholic High School pupils with the items from the school's care pack. PHOTOS: IVY CHNG LI PENG, JONATHAN LAI

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