Supplementary programme to encourage kindness and care in schools

Singapore, 27 October 2011 – As part of its outreach to schools, the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) has launched a new funding initiative for students and teachers alike to promote the values of care and consideration in and out of the classroom.

The Seed Kindness Fund is being introduced to support the Ministry of Education’s drive to strengthen the schools’ focus on values and character education, with a renewed emphasis to inculcate qualities such as moral resolve and confidence within students.

Comprising two tiers – one targeted at students and the other for teachers – the programme enables schools to generate and activate creative ideas that spread the message of kindness, consideration and care in the school and surrounding community.

The first tier, capped at $1,000, is for students-led projects that encourage kindness in their surrounding communities, while the Enhanced Seed Kindness Fund, with a higher cap of $3,000 per submission, is meant for teacher-led initiatives.

The latter is a new concept where teachers are encouraged to spearhead creative ideas to spread kindness within their schools. Over the past few months, three schools (two Secondary Schools and one Primary School) have been working closely with SKM to test-bed several creative ideas under the Enhanced Seed Kindness funding scheme.

General Secretary of SKM Dr William Wan said: “We want to empower teachers, to offer them new ways to inculcate important values among their students. As for students, we want them to feel the powerful impact of spreading the message of kindness among their peers. If we can excite and influence educators and students to take ownership of kindness, they will be our enablers and encourage others to do the same.”

For example, all Secondary One students from Springfield Secondary School were given a ‘Doodle Journal’ in April this year. This journal allowed for them to express their thoughts on kindness and of self in a creative manner.

Over at Woodgrove Secondary School, the teacher-in-charge directed the students in staging a musical and creating a set of PowerPoint slides to encourage self-respect.  At Pei Tong Primary School, a Kindness Passport was produced to motivate students to ‘collect’ kind acts in the ‘passport’. To motivate the children, they would receive small tokens after collecting a fixed number of acts.

Using the three schools as a springboard, the project ideas will undergo further evaluation by SKM. They may then be introduced to other schools. Attention is also paid on the process of implementation and feedback sought from teachers and students on what they have learnt while working on the projects.

SKM has been funding students-led initiatives from universities for the past few years and projects that have benefited from the Seed Kindness Fund include the “Tissue Parody” (to tackle the problem of “reserving” seats in food courts) and the “Kindness School Of Tot” (an educational programme on kindness for pre-schoolers).

However, this launch represents a renewed call to action for youths, and now includes secondary and junior college level students as well.

Teachers and students can visit http://kindness.sg/skf to find out more about this initiative.

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