Singapore Schools Jump on the Green Wave
Overwhelming participation in the Green for Hope @ Primary Schools 2010 raised close to SGD900,000
Issue: Feb 2011
Singapore Primary Schools join efforts in Green for Hope @ Primary Schools 2010
Three years into the launch of CapitaLand’s “Green for Hope” @ Primary Schools, almost all of the primary schools in Singapore have banded together for this green mission. With an additional 16 schools joining in this worthy cause, Green for Hope (GfH) 2010 saw the participation of a total of 170 out of 178 primary schools in Singapore.
The GfH project combines two key corporate social responsibilities of CapitaLand in being green and to help underprivileged children. For every one kilogramme of recyclable waste collected by participating Singapore primary schools, CapitaLand Hope Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CapitaLand, donates S$2 to the welfare funds of these schools.
Marymount Convent started its own Go Green effort in 2010 and saw GfH as a perfect opportunity to jump on board. “In the past, pupils and students were just encouraged to do their part in recycling. However, we wanted more teacher and student involvement and thus decided to participate in GfH,” shared Adeline Pang, the teacher-in-charge.
Besides achieving greater awareness through assembly talks and events, every class at Marymount Convent also appointed two Environment Ambassadors. These ambassadors helped to promote and carry out green acts every day. They also maintained a notice board entitled ‘Save our Rainforest’ that served to educate classmates on environment protection. “The students are now more conscious about the importance of recycling and are more proactive in their efforts,” said Pang.
Environment Ambassadors from Marymount Convent pose with pride in front of their work of art
Peiying Primary is another new kid on the block for the 2010 programme. The beauty of recycling was emphasised through its structured Art Programme which saw art teachers conducting art lessons using recyclable materials. “Pupils are not only taught art creatively, they learn to do crafts using materials that can be recycled,” said Kan Shook Ching, the lead teacher.
“With the participation in GfH, the school puts in greater effort to encourage the pupils to bring their newspaper and recyclables from home regularly. Letters were also sent to parents to inform them about our involvement in GfH,” shared Kan.
Students’ creations were selected for display at Peiying Primary’s recycle corner (left) and Project Runway saw students strut on stage in their recycled garb (right)
The school's green efforts culminated with a fashion show! Primary Six pupils used recyclable materials to design their outfits and did a ‘catwalk’ in their creation – talk about eco-friendly haute couture!
Getting Greener with Experience
When it comes to recycling, CHIJ Our Lady of Navity (OLN) is certainly no greenhorn. Having participated in GfH since 2008, the school exemplified the meaning of leading by example. “Our staff room and general office have two recycling bins for papers and plastics to inculcate daily recycling among our staff,” shared Eleanor Foo, Environmental Education Advisor and Eco Care Co-ordinator.
The school even took a step further to involve parents. “We had the Parent Support Group to assist the school and thus far, they have been helping out in our environment care projects such as our weekly collection of recyclable wastes,” said Foo.
More importantly, students were taught recycling to be a daily affair through The ‘Recycle-An-Item-A-Day’ competition. "Through the competition, pupils have become more aware about the issues of global warming and that in turn, will encourage them to take care of their Earth more,” shared Foo.
Weekly results of ‘Recycle-An-Item-A-Day’ competition were put up to encourage participation (left) and Ms Agnes Chew, principal of CHIJ (OLN) presented tokens of appreciation to the winning classes (right)
Clementi Primary, a repeat participant of GfH, came up with a strategy to leapfrog its recycling figures. A newspaper collection competition was organised to encourage maximum participation. “The mass of newspapers collected by individual classes was collated weekly and broadcasted over the school’s TV messaging system,” said Balamurugan Velayutham, the teacher-in-charge of the school’s participation in GfH 2010.
Students of Clementi Primary were all game to collect as much newspapers as possible
The competition certainly hyped up the mood for recycling at Clementi Primary. “I had eager pupils who came to ask me whether they can still recycle papers, even after the competition period!” Velayutham exclaimed.
He added, “It is very important to protect our Mother Earth before it is lost. Pupils definitely need to be taught the importance of recycling when they are young so that they will practice these habits when they grow up.”
Going Green for a Worthy Cause
While saving the Earth is already a worthy cause, underprivileged children also benefited from the close to S$900,000 funds raised for the schools’ welfare fund, which will be used to meet the education needs of these children.
Primary Six student Jane* from Marymount Convent was thankful and joyful for the bursary she received from the funds raised through GfH. “The books that I buy for my studies are subsidised and that really lightens the load of my parents. I play netball in school and having to pay a lower CCA fee has allowed me to explore my talent and work hard on it,” she said. “The money given to me has helped me by providing me with ample opportunities for growth and development.”
For her peers, the joy of giving was deeply felt by Primary Six student Lydia Lim from CHIJ (OLN). “I feel good that I was able to help my fellow classmate in her home situation,” she said.
Green, Green, Hurray!
On the whole, GfH 2010 churned out impressive figures that will certainly spur schools on in their effort to save the Earth. 480,000 kilogrammes of recyclable waste were collected and recycling rates have increased by more than 25% as compared to GfH 2009.
“CapitaLand is very encouraged by the support shown by the primary schools in just three years. We hope to benefit more underprivileged children through GfH. We aim to get all the primary schools in Singapore on board this worthy cause next year whilst keeping our focus on the environment and rallying everyone to take a step towards a greener future,” shared Tan Bee Leng, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, CapitaLand Limited.
Let us cheer to sustainable days ahead as our next generation becomes more environmental conscious and caring for the less fortunate in our society through GfH!
*The name of the bursary recipient has been changed in this article in adherence to local guidelines to not reveal the beneficiary’s real name.
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