Bag to basics for Primary 1 next year

Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Darryl David (back row, centre, in green T-shirt) with grassroots volunteers, donors, parents and the kindergarten children entering Primary 1 next year. The children received school bags with new uniforms, shoes and socks for Ci Yu
Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Darryl David (back row, centre, in green T-shirt) with grassroots volunteers, donors, parents and the kindergarten children entering Primary 1 next year. The children received school bags with new uniforms, shoes and socks for Ci Yuan Day as part of the Bag to School initiative launched this year.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Residents help kids from needy families get school bags with new uniforms, shoes

With money being tight at home, Ms Selviana Chen was planning to get her six-year-old daughter to wear her older siblings' hand-me-down uniforms when the girl starts at Xinmin Primary School next year.

However, Nancelia Tan was yesterday presented with a new school uniform in her size which cost about $20.

She was also given new school shoes and socks - all put in a blue and pink school bag for her.

It was part of a charity initiative, Bag to School, at Ci Yuan Community Club in Ang Mo Kio-Hougang constituency.

"It really helps a lot because there are so many other expenses when children start school," said Ms Chen, 42, an infant care assistant at a pre-school.

The single mother of four children aged six to 13 earns about $1,000 a month. Nancelia was among 100 kindergarten children entering Primary 1 next year who received such school bags at the community club's Ci Yuan Day.

CONFIDENCE BOOST

Having basic things like school bags, water bottles and shoes can encourage the children and give them the confidence to study hard.

MR G. CHANDRASEGAR, a businessman, who donated more than $1,000.

Residents in the constituency raised $4,350 for the school bags and other essentials, which were distributed to children from needy families in the neighbourhood.

Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Darryl David, who presented the children with the school bags, said the initiative launched this year is unique as it is "by our residents, and for our residents".

Each resident pledged a minimum sum of $50, and the funds were used to buy items for the children, with their pre-school teachers helping to note the sizes.

Mr G. Chandrasegar, 49, donated more than $1,000.

"Having basic things like school bags, water bottles and shoes can encourage the children and give them the confidence to study hard," said the businessman, who has three children aged 10 to 15.

Ci Yuan Community Club hopes to continue the initiative for the long term.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, also an Ang Mo Kio GRC MP, joined residents at the event, which also featured a family carnival and had learning and craft activities for children and residents.

Ci Yuan is part of Mr David's division within Ang Mo Kio GRC.

Ci Yuan Day is held annually to mark the opening of Ci Yuan Community Club three years ago.

Last year, 2,000kg of brown rice was distributed to four charities as part of a cycling challenge for Ci Yuan Day.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 30, 2018, with the headline 'Bag to basics for Primary 1 next year'. Print Edition | Subscribe