Tampines pre-schoolers mix chores with charity
With two maids in his home, Sean Neo, four, rarely did any household chores.
But his mother, bank officer Deborah Lim, said Sean now washes his own shoes and dishes, and will even ask for more chores.
It happened after his pre-school, PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Tampines East Block 261, started a project called Chores 4 Charity last month.
About 140 children from the pre-school were given the task of raising money by completing household chores at home, or for friends and relatives.
With the money, they bought provisions for about 150 families who live in the one-room rental flats near the pre-school.
On Saturday (Aug 12) morning, more than 20 children from the pre-school distributed the items to the residents, with the help of Tampines GRC MP Cheng Li Hui.
In under two months, the children raised more than $3,000.
Ms Lim, 32, who was proud of the initiative, said: "Even though the project is over, Sean still continues to do chores at home. He also learnt about the concept of money."
The project is part of the Early Childhood Development Agency's Start Small Dream Big initiative, which started in 2015.
Under the scheme, pre-school children take part in community service projects. Parents are also invited to work with their children and teachers on the projects.
For the Chores 4 Charity project, staff from the pre-school helped buy the provisions.
The children also worked in groups and completed tasks such as writing to the supermarket to ask for discounts.
The preschool's vice-principal, Ms Adeline Koh, said they decided to help households in the neighbourhood to teach the children that charity begins at home.
Said Ms Koh: "The people in Tampines are their neighbours, and some of the children in the pre-school also live in rental flats.
We told them that it is not the amount raised that is important, but the effort and desire to help."
Security guard Hamir Hamzah, 41, who was among those who received provisions from the children, said it was a good initiative.
He said: "They can learn how to help others from a young age and get to know other residents in the area."
This year's edition of the Start Small Dream Big initiative, which runs for six months each year, was launched in April. About 20,000 children from over 300 pre-schools took part in the initiative last year.