Book launched to teach pre-schoolers to care for others

The book launch was held in conjunction with My First Skool's commemoration of Total Defence Day, which falls on Feb 15 every year to remember the day that Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942.
The book launch was held in conjunction with My First Skool's commemoration of Total Defence Day, which falls on Feb 15 every year to remember the day that Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

That is the central message of the pre-school learning resource, Start Small Dream Big: Caring for Others, a 21-page picture book that teaches pre-schoolers simple everyday actions to care for their family members, their teachers and friends, the community, as well as for animals and the environment.

This learning resource was launched by President Halimah Yacob on Tuesday (Feb 19) at My First Skool (MFS) in Jurong West Street 65.

It is available in four languages - English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil - and copies will be distributed to every MFS centre in Singapore by next month.

The book was conceptualised and written by MFS early childhood educators.

The publication is a collaboration between MFS and Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and is part of the Start Small Dream Big (SSCB) movement.

The SSCB, which is an initiative by the agency, aims to encourage closer partnerships among pre-schools, families and the wider community.

The book launch was held in conjunction with the pre-school's commemoration of Total Defence Day, which falls on Feb 15 every year to remember the day that Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942.

Among those who attended the event included MP Patrick Tay, Singapore Armed Forces veterans, seniors from NTUC Health Silver Circle (Jurong West), as well as teachers and pre-schoolers from My First Skool.

Ms Thian Ai Ling, general manager of MFS, said: "Other pillars of total defence, such as military defence or psychological defence, might be too difficult a concept for pre-school children to understand.

"So we tend to focus on social defence. Social defence is about how people of different races come together to care for one another, and this book sits right in that same concept of caring for others."

MFS has 141 centres islandwide, and is one of many pre-school brands under NTUC First Campus, the second largest pre-school operator in Singapore.

Ms Thian added that the book could also be used to inculcate in pre-schoolers an appreciation of their own mother tongues.

"Children these days might have a limited knowledge of their mother tongues if the people around them do not use the language much."

"We hope this book can be a useful resource for teachers and parents to teach linguistic abilities and impart values at the same time to the children," she said.