Needy students get bags, stationery and vouchers for new school year

Beneficiaries of the Pack My Backpack programme collecting school bags, stationery and vouchers at Sembawang Community Club on Dec 21, 2019. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Nearly 300 students between the ages of seven and 21 received new school bags, stationery and $100 worth of bookstore and supermarket vouchers on Saturday (Dec 21).

They were beneficiaries of the Pack My Backpack programme, which was started five years ago to help low-income families prepare for the new school year.

Organised by Sembawang Community Club Youth Executive Committee, the project seeks to defray school and household expenses for the families.

It received the support of community partners and individuals, including Leong Guan Food Trading which donated $5,000 worth of bookstore vouchers.

One of the volunteers at the event, Ms Siti Nuraisha Safri, 23, said: "As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.

"Through Pack My Backpack, we are able to strengthen ties with families from underserved backgrounds and provide the community of support to prepare their children for school," she added.

Pack My Backpack was held in conjunction with the WeCare @ North West - Ready For School programme, where 137 pre-schoolers aged five or six were each awarded a $200 bursary by the North West Community Development Council.

The bursary consisted of bookstore and supermarket vouchers.

The programme has raised more than $500,000 worth of bursaries for 1,600 kindergarten pupils so far this year.

The event at Sembawang Community Club on Saturday was attended by Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, who is also grassroots adviser of Sembawang GRC.

Republic Polytechnic students also came up with interactive games at the event to teach English and financial literacy to the young beneficiaries.

To cultivate a love for reading among children and youth, the National Library Board brought Molly, a mobile library, to reach out to those who may not have easy access to public libraries.

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