“Before this, I didn’t like kids,” shared Yvonne Ng, 16, a student at Dunman Secondary School. But this changed after a volunteer stint at the MOE Kindergarten @ Tampines. Together with her schoolmates, she now spends time during the holidays and after school volunteering at the kindergarten.
Not knowing how to interact with the young ones, the students were initially unfamiliar and awkward, but the warmth and affection expressed naturally by the children quickly won them over.
Starting with simple tasks, Yvonne and other student volunteers put up bulletin boards, decorated classrooms and even created a small science corner with terrapins and ants for the children to observe. They also learnt how to make their designs age appropriate, such as by using larger font sizes and simpler font types, and pasting notices at the eye level of children.
The student volunteers also worked with the kindergarten teachers to make toy vehicles from recycled materials. Applying their knowledge of science, they added balloons to the toy vehicles to propel them forward when air from the balloons is released. The children were delighted and capturing that learning moment brought a great sense of satisfaction to both teachers and student volunteers.
“The children interact very comfortably with the big sisters,” said Mrs Doris Ong, the Centre Head of the MOE Kindergarten @ Tampines, “We work like a family.”
During a trip to the science centre, student volunteers also looked after small groups of children and brought them around to interact with the exhibits. When they see the older sisters doing something, they don’t feel scared and instead are eager to try it for themselves,” said Mrs Ong.
The student volunteers shared with Mrs Ong how volunteering at the kindergarten has been a huge confidence booster. Through this meaningful work, they see themselves as responsible and independent learners who are able to help the little ones.
Students from Pei Hwa Secondary School’s Art Council also volunteered at the MOE Kindergarten @ Sengkang Green last year to prepare the place for the new school year. Check out the photos of Pei Hwa and Dunman students volunteering at the kindergartens!