Young authors at childcare centre meet President Halimah

President Halimah Yacob sharing a light moment with Child At Street 11 pupils (seated from left) Matthew Lim, Cassara Chen (both partially blocked), Ryan Lim, Aryssha Balqis Abdullah, Lucas Yeo and Kelly Ong, whose stories are in the book Sayang. Tch
President Halimah Yacob sharing a light moment with Child At Street 11 pupils (seated from left) Matthew Lim, Cassara Chen (both partially blocked), Ryan Lim, Aryssha Balqis Abdullah, Lucas Yeo and Kelly Ong, whose stories are in the book Sayang. Tchaikovsky. Ole! With the President is Mr Henry Kwek, MP for Nee Soon GRC (Kebun Bahru).ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

"My heart moves when it feels love. It moves to my friends. The love feels like music coming out of me. It feels like sayang music."

This is part of a short story titled Sayang Flowers by six-year-old Aryssha Balqis Abdullah.

She attends Child At Street 11, a non-profit centre that provides pre-school and after-school care services for children between two and six years old.

Stories by Aryssha, who is in Kindergarten 2, and six of her friends are compiled in a book called Sayang. Tchaikovsky. Ole!

These range from stories about shadows and grandmothers, to music notes and even being a president when they grow up.

This year's book, by the graduating cohort, is the seventh so far.

The young authors met President Halimah Yacob in school yesterday. They greeted her with songs and hugs, and chatted with her.

Founded in 1999 by a group of professionals, the centre in Ang Mo Kio caters to young children of all races from low-income and dysfunctional families.

  • 48

    Number of pupils in Child At Street 11, a non-profit centre that provides pre-school and after-school care services for children between two and six years old. 

  • 6

    Number of full-time teachers. Child At Street 11 will launch an infant care programme next year for children two to 11 months old.

The children go through project-based learning adapted from the Reggio Emilia approach, a pupil-centred teaching philosophy.

"They all come with their own baggage, and sometimes, they don't know how to express that. So we teach them a can-do attitude that helps them grow," said principal Shanti De Mello.

The centre, which has 48 pupils and six full-time teachers, will launch an infant care programme next year for children between two and 11 months old. For a start, it will take in 16 infants.

For Aryssha, getting the President to sign a book she helped write was exciting.

"I'm proud of my story and I'm happy the President came to our school. I wrote about the colourful flowers that I love in the Istana and the sayang (love) around me," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2017, with the headline 'Young authors at childcare centre meet President Halimah'. Print Edition | Subscribe