NTUC First Campus’ pre-schools raise money for Bright Horizons Fund

November 16, 2018

Throughout the year, NTUC First Campus’ (NFC) pre-schools have organised a variety of their very own self-curated fund-raising events. These events are initiatives by the centres to raise funds for NFC’s Bright Horizons Fund (BHF), and ranged from the tasty to the fun and the quirky.

The three centres featured in this story raised an impressive combined $5,400 through their “home-made” fund-raising efforts. Together with the funds raised by many of the pre-schools in the NFC network, the donations will go a long way in helping lower-income families.

Background on NTUC First Campus’ Child Support Model

NFC has in place an integrated and holistic in-house child support model that provides a three-pronged approach to supporting children from underprivileged families and those with learning needs. These three avenues of support are: Financial Support; Social Support; and Learning Support.

The BHF provides financial assistance to families, enabling their children to have an equal start in life. Without financial assistance, families that cannot afford childcare fees either withdraw their children from childcare centres, send them to short-hour pre-school programmes, or simply keep them at home.

The BHF was started by NFC in 2008 with the primary objective of helping children from low-income families get access to quality pre-school education provided by My First Skool, despite family circumstances.

Centres’ BHF Fund-raising Activities

My First Skool at Guillemard Crescent

On June 23, 2018, My First Skool at Guillemard Crescent held the 3R Fun Raising Fiesta. The event was planned and organised by the centre’s close-knit community, with the Parent Support Group (PSG) working together with the Principal, teachers and staff.

There was a robust turnout of parents that brought their whole families to support the activities and raise funds for the lower-income families in the NFC community. The highlight of the day was a Fashion Show by the centre’s children – an initiative by the organising team to provide the children with rich and diverse experiences. The participating families made use of recyclable materials to produce creative costumes, to dress the children up from superheroes to princess. This was a good way for the children to both raise funds and learn about the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) at the same time.

After the Fashion Show, there was a Flea Market held at the front garden of the centre. Many stalls were set up, selling items donated by parents, crafts created by the children themselves and homemade food and drinks. One of the popular booths was a photo opportunity with “Meera the Parrot”, where the children had the chance to hold up a parrot on their arm. Constant squeals of laughter emanated from this booth as the children held up a live parrot for the first time.

At the end of the event, prizes were given out to children for the fashion show, rewarding them for their creative costume efforts.

“It was a great collective effort between the PSG and pre-school, resulting in a wonderful day for the children and families and a sizeable amount of donations collected to help those in need. We believe that our PSG members are empowered to support each other as learning partners at the centre,” said Principal Malarvizhi Ledchunan. “This whole event was echoed in this simple quote that I love:”

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents” – Jane D. Hull.

My First Skool at Guillemard Crescent

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An enthusiastic turnout at the fund-raising event

Little Skool-House by the Crescent

From afar, you could already hear the voices of a multitude of children. Turn the corner to the backyard of the pre-school and you would be greeted by the sight of children of the Little Skool-House by the Crescent manning numerous stalls at the centre’s bazaar as part of its fund-raising event.

Held on 13 July, 2018, the centre was raising funds for the Bright Horizons Fund, doing their part to help NFC’s lower-income families.

Many parents turned up for the event, showing their support for the school’s charitable cause. There were numerous stalls set up, selling toys and books donated by the parents. Homemade food like spaghetti, cookies and cupcakes were also on sale, offering those in attendance an abundance of gourmet choices.

Principal Maggie Lee said, “I am very thankful for the generous contributions from the parents. So many parents turned up to support the children and our fund-raising efforts.”

The fund-raising event was actually initiated by the centre children themselves as part of an annual school project. The children had chosen the idea of a carnival in order to raise funds to help others in need.

Details like the type of stalls, the items for sale, the prices and how to attract customers to their stall were all worked out by the children. They also arranged rotating shifts throughout the afternoon so that they could both sell and shop for the items and food.

Throughout the carnival, the Little Skool-House children lapped up their stallholder responsibilities with gusto, using loudspeakers to call attention to their wares, filling the atmosphere with an electrifying buzz.

To top it all off, the event culminated in an ice cream making workshop. It was a time of bonding for the parents and children as they worked together to hand-make ice cream from raw ingredients. They were then able to enjoy the very ice cream they created themselves.

At the end of the day, the amount of donations raised was significantly more than twice of what the children had targeted for the fund-raising event – a huge success.

Little Skool-House by the Crescent

Little Skool-House by the Crescent
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The children took turns to run the booths, ensuring that everyone had the chance to be both shopper and seller

My First Skool at Blk 101 Rivervale Walk

My First Skool at Blk 101 Rivervale Walk held their centre’s fund-raising event in conjunction with its Start Small Dream Big (SSDB) Finale Family Day. The SSDB is an initiative by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) for children to innovate and tap on their strengths to help others in the community. It was the perfect platform for these combined efforts.

Held on 29 August, 2018, parents showed great support for the school, participating in the cardboard art coin bank assembly together with their children. The cardboard coin bank reinforces the broader message of the importance of saving. As an extension of the idea, children can learn about sharing a portion of their savings with the less fortunate.

It was a good time of family bonding and also served as a reminder to the children on the importance of not only saving for oneself, but also saving for those in need around them.

The finishing touches of the coin banks were customisable, enabling every child to create a look that they wanted.

Following the coin bank assembly, parents and children went on to enjoy the various stalls and booths set up around the preschool, buying items such as pottery made by the children and craftworks made of recycled materials done by the children together with their families.

There was also a special activity for the K2 children. Prior to the event day, the K2 children had written their very own book and had it published. On the event day, there was a book signing by these very authors.

“It was very heartening seeing the support of the parents, coming down to be with their children and giving to our cause. The donations they give will go a long way in helping the families in need in NFC,” said Principal Aishaqirin M. Argil.

My First Skool at 101 Rivervale Walk

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Parents and children working on the cardboard coin box outside the centre