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KidSTART Stories to help parents build children’s language foundation through storytelling

By KidSTART Singapore October 15, 2022

(From left to right) KidSTART parents Mdm Jayavalli Shanmugam, Mdm Junaida Binte Jasuni and Mdm Jasleasha Ong at the official launch of the KidSTART Stories initiative with their children. Photo credit: KidSTART Singapore

KidSTART Singapore, SP Group and EtonHouse Community Fund support 1,800 families with resources

Singapore, 15 October 2022 – Under the Growing Together with KidSTART partnership, KidSTART Singapore, SP Group and EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) have launched KidSTART Stories to equip more than 1,800 families with resources to support parents in the early childhood development of their children through storytelling and reading. This is another initiative in KidSTART Singapore’s ongoing #AGoodStart initiative to create awareness on the importance of child development in the early years. 

KidSTART families will be gifted with a mini-library comprising a bookshelf and a set of specially selected age-appropriate books sponsored by SP Group and ECF. The mini-library will facilitate families to create a conducive space at home for children to explore books and enjoy reading sessions with parents. Parents will have access to a series of videos produced by KidSTART Singapore to guide them on techniques for storytelling and conversational reading to infants and young children and how they can inject fun and learning in the activities through pictures, songs and dance. 

Mdm Jasleasha Ong, mother of a 2-year-old, shared that through the encouragement of her KidSTART practitioner and the resources provided by KidSTART Stories, she now enjoys reading with her child and looks forward to discovering more about her child’s learning abilities through their reading sessions. “Before attending KidSTART, I thought my daughter was not interested in books. I tried reading to her, but she would flip through the pages quickly. I was surprised she was so engaged when the KidSTART facilitator read books during the KidSTART Group sessions. I learnt that it was about choosing age-appropriate books and I am grateful for the set of books and the bookshelf given as part of KidSTART Stories where we now have our very own family reading corner. My daughter is now always so excited when it is reading time, and even comes up to me to request for me to join her at the reading corner. She is very imaginative and it’s such a joy to see her pretend to be part of the story.” 

Another KidSTART mother, Madam Junaida, also shared that the KidSTART Stories resources have been useful in helping her son learn about shapes and colours. “I didn’t read many books when I was young, and I was really happy to receive the mini library from KidSTART. The video guides were also very useful as I learnt different ways of telling the stories to my son. We now spend more time reading together as a family, which has been rewarding as he really enjoys looking at the colourful animals in his favourite book. I look forward to exploring more books with him.” 

Madam Rahayu Buang, Chief Executive Officer, KidSTART Singapore said, “We want the newly launched KidSTART Stories initiative to give families the confidence to engage their young children in reading adventures that will spark their language abilities and at the same time cultivate a lifelong love for reading.  We are grateful to our ‘Growing Together with KidSTART’ partners SP Group and EtonHouse Community Fund for their generosity in providing the books and bookshelves, as well as the volunteer manpower to distribute the reading materials to KidSTART families. We look forward to more collaborations with corporate and community partners to further sustain and expand the KidSTART Stories, so that more children can have a good start in life.” 

Group CEO of SP Group Mr Stanley Huang said, “SP Group has been working closely with KidSTART to provide children access to suitable educational resources in their early years and establish a strong foundation in their learning. As part of our $1.1 million donation to KidSTART this year, we are pleased to go further, in creating a conducive home environment to cultivate good reading habits, hone healthy curiosity and foster strong family bonds. These will empower them with skills for enriching and holistic growth in their formative years.” 

Mrs Ng Gim Choo, Founder of EtonHouse Community Fund, says, “Reading should be a joyful experience, and books should be perceived as toys. When children love to read, they excel academically. Reading enhances concentration and cognitive development, it strengthens language and creative thinking skills, and opens the world to children. Reading offers adults a precious opportunity to bond with children. It is also a sustainable way to bridge the gap between lower and higher-income children. ECF is delighted to support this project with KidSTART and play its part in impacting the community.” 

KidSTART Stories was launched today at Keat Hong Community Club, with Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development in attendance as a Guest of Honour. Approximately 320 KidSTART and eligible parents and their children enjoyed an interactive storytelling session by the Minister, along with stage performances that brought storytelling to life and post-show arts and crafts and play activities. Moving forward, KidSTART is looking to collaborate with various partners to create more video reading guides and sponsorship of new books in the pipeline. Recently, KidSTART had also launched an interactive play KidSTART Sea Adventures, adapted from a storybook written by KidSTART’s early childhood specialist. The KidSTART Sea Adventures play will be restaged across different neighbourhoods around Singapore to reach out to more families.