A "brain gym" for students from lower-income families
During her internship with the East Coast Community in April, she observed many students without strong academic foundations and were struggling with their academics.
Ms Riko Ng, 20, then decided to start a tuition programme for children from lower-income families.
Together with other volunteers, Bedok Brain Gym was formed to help younger students who are unable to seek long-term academic help.
“I believe that it is important for students to build a strong academic foundation,” said Miss Ng.
Supported by the Bedok Community Centre Youth Network, the student volunteers would help with lesson planning, organising fun activities and games, so that students can not only improve academically but also pick up soft skills.
Their efforts were given the thumbs up by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.
“Thank you to our volunteers for being so giving — your spirit of looking out for one another is what makes our Bedok community a special one,” DPM Heng wrote in an Instagram post.
The seven volunteers in Bedok Brain Gym teach students from Primary 2 to Secondary 1.
Providing a friendly and engaging learning environment, the volunteers believe that inculcating good learning attitudes in their tutees is as important as learning.
Inspired by her own tuition experience and wanting to make a difference, Ms Julianne Ong 19, (recounted how her primary school tuition experience was “boring”.
“I found my primary school tuition experience to be boring and I wanted to reinvent tuition for my students at Bedok Brain Gym,” said Ms Ong, 19.
Moving the tuition sessions online during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) last month was challenging but the volunteers were undaunted by the obstacles and adapted to their students’ needs.
While huge improvements have yet to be observed, the volunteers take pride in celebrating smaller milestones.
“Our students are becoming more excited about tuition,” Miss Ong said.
“Some of our students even come to class early so they can spend more time to learn.”