Pre-school children to draw from dads' NS experiences

8,500 will decorate cards to thank fathers for defending nation in lead-up to SAF Day

More than 8,500 pre-school children nationwide will be busy with their colouring materials over the next week as they draw their best works of their fathers clad in service uniforms.

As part of the Appreciating NSmen Art Jam initiative, children will be learning more about national service (NS) and decorating appreciation cards to thank their fathers for defending the nation in a lead-up to SAF Day on July 1.

The children will be actively encouraged to find out more from their fathers about their NS involvement and experiences.

They will also decorate and pen their personal thank-you messages to their fathers in a series of NS-themed appreciation cards.

Each appreciation card features one of four designs depicting servicemen from the five services - the Singapore Army, Republic of Singapore Navy, Republic of Singapore Air Force, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force - and Singapore icons such as the Merlion, Changi Airport, Housing Board flats, the Toa Payoh dragon playground and the ArtScience Museum.

More than 100 pre-school centres islandwide over the next week will be conducting these art jam sessions, which were initiated by Safra and the Association of Early Childhood and Training Services.

It was one of the initiatives announced by Safra yesterday, along with more than 130 deals to mark this year's SAF Day.

All Singapore Armed Forces national servicemen - full-time as well as operationally ready - and Safra members can enjoy the deals, which include free entry to Safra's swimming pools and gyms islandwide, and 50 per cent discounts at its sports and recreation facilities such as barbecue pits, futsal courts, games rooms, squash courts, tennis courts and multi-purpose courts.

The deals are available from next Saturday and end on various dates, with some valid until Dec 31 this year.

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman, who is Safra president, joined pre-school children and their parents at Safra Jurong NurtureStars Preschool yesterday afternoon, during one of the first art jam sessions.

Speaking to the media, Dr Maliki said he was happy to see the initiatives by Safra and its partners to thank the NSmen.

"Once a year, it's great to come together to create new initiatives that will inspire others to be thankful to our NSmen.

"I'm also happy to see more than 100 childcare centres have stepped forward to join the art jam initiative, which is very important.

"This is a unique group of children who see their fathers put on their uniform on certain days of the year and they may be wondering why that is the case.

"This is the time where we tell and educate our children that our fathers are going out to make sure we live in a safe and civil country."

A full list of the deals for SAF Day can be found at www.safra.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2018, with the headline 'Pre-school children to draw from dads' NS experiences'. Print Edition | Subscribe