Fruits of their labour

This story first appeared in The Straits Times' Little Red Dot on July 1, 2014


They stared at the judges in stunned silence before breaking into laughter and dance when told they had won the second prize.

The all-girl trio of Jessie Cheong, nine, Annabelle Tan, 10, and Lisianne Chan, 10, from Temasek Primary School were elated that their proposal - to construct a vegetable garden in their school - netted them $3,000 in the Shop For Your School competition. Jessie exclaimed: “We have no idea what to do now.”

However, they were certain of what they wanted to do at the start. As Lisianne explained, the team proposed this idea because “with an ecogarden, you can enjoy the fruits of your own hard work”.

From checking the prices of benches on furniture retailer Ikea’s website to finding out the types of soil in nearby nurseries, the youngest winners of the competition thoroughly researched the prices of all their items - without any adult guidance.

“Honestly, they did not discuss a single aspect of the project with me,” said Mrs Sally Chew, the school’s subject head of aesthetics and the team’s form teacher.

“In fact, they came up to me when I was talking to another teacher and asked: ‘Mrs Chew, could you please sign our proposal?’” As she felt her girls had done a good job, Mrs Chew endorsed the proposal.

The Primary 4 pupils plan to share the produce from their garden with folk from the nearby homes for the aged.

They also hope their garden will promote learning among their peers as they find out about nutrition through hands-on science lessons.