Pre-schoolers raise $15,000 for less fortunate kids

Pre-schoolers were in charge at a Downtown East fun fair yesterday, selling handicraft (above) and running game stalls to raise money for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and Business Times Budding Artists Fund.
Pre-schoolers were in charge at a Downtown East fun fair yesterday, selling handicraft (above) and running game stalls to raise money for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and Business Times Budding Artists Fund.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Instead of spending his Saturday playing with toys at home in Bukit Batok, six-year-old Hon Hock Rong was hard at work selling keychains in Pasir Ris.

He was taking part in a fun fair at Downtown East, organised by Star Learners Child Care, yesterday to raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) and Business Times Budding Artists Fund.

Hock Rong, whose father is a software engineer, said: "I wanted to do this to help those who don't have enough money."

Prepared by the childcare teachers, the wooden keychains came with a painting kit each. They were in the shape of "everyday heroes" - the theme of the fair - such as chefs, policemen, nurses and firefighters.

Hock Rong said his everyday hero is a cleaner, who "protects the earth from pollution".

The fair, attended by about 2,000 children and parents, raised about $15,000. There were more than 20 booths manned by children where participants could play games or purchase handicraft items.

Star Learners' chief executive Tan Meng Wei, 45, said: "Today is all about celebrating everyday heroes, and by that, we don't mean Ironman or Spiderman.

"Building character is paramount in our syllabus - it's not all about academics but also about building empathy and respect."

Ms Faith Tang, 32, who works in administration, was proud to see her six-year-old daughter Taylor Beh manning a booth at the fair.

She said: "It's good to start them young and to have this culture (of character-building)."

The STSPMF currently supports about 10,000 students from low-income families. The fund gives pocket money to students whose families earn less than $625 in per capita gross monthly household income.

The Business Times Budding Artists Fund aims to make the arts accessible for children and youth from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, and disburses funds to students whose families earn below $690 in per capita gross monthly household income.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 14, 2018, with the headline 'Pre-schoolers raise $15,000 for less fortunate kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe