This year our Start Small Dream Big Project is titled: Embracing Diversity -Celebrating Differences.
Through this project we hope to encourage young children to use their own resources and creativity to give back to society, and in the process, instill the spirit of giving and good values such as care for others, humility, kindness, and compassion. This is the 4th year that our Centre PCF Sparkletots Preschool@ Braddell Heights Branch BLK 246 has participated in SSDB. Because of the varied nature of the family and living situations of children today, we felt that it’s important to focus on teaching diversity to preschoolers in a way that helps them understand and respect the different situations of their family, peers, and people in the community.
Why did we choose this topic?
It is important that children are exposed to the value of diversity and embracing all individuals, regardless of their cultural background, age, gender and learning abilities.
Introduction and Launch Party
For our SSDB launch held on 29 April 2022, children listened to the story “The Rainbow Fish” and discussed as a class on the elements of the story that relates to the topic Embracing Diversity and Celebrating Differences. Prior to the launch party, children designed, coloured and decorated their very own fish template which when put together, created a school of fish. Before placing the fish in the sea, children were given the opportunity to speak out aloud on how they wanted to celebrate their differences and how they could play a part to embrace diversity. The product of the launch not only displayed on the uniqueness of each child but also on the people around them at home as well as in the community. The key sub-topics included: Inclusion, Racial Harmony, Age and Gender.
June Holiday Project
Throughout the month in June, the children engaged actively on the following:
Little Builders : Children worked in teams to design and create ramps for seniors and people with challenging physical needs. After creating their ramps, they were brought outdoors to see how inclusive their neighbourhood was, and that was when they realized that the overhead bridge and playground beside their school wasn’t catered for children or people who are physically challenged. This sparked their brain juices and when they got back indoors, they challenged themselves to design and create a playground to include everyone and a road system to cater to people using the wheelchair and walking stick. They also challenged their creativity further by using scrap materials to create a wheelchair suitable for all ages.
Rainbow Fish Poster, Children had opportunities to work together to create a poster for their SSDB project. Children took part in poster painting as well as the decorative part of it. Children were able to work in groups and they were able to share their ideas as well as their thoughts. I was able to capture small interactions between the children as they worked in small groups. Children were seen working with friends from a different race and helping one another. Through these interactions I was able to see active, positive and healthy communications and relationships between the children when engaged together in group works.
“I am a good friend because…” activity. Children were given the opportunity to understand the concept of how it is important to share and care for their friends regardless of their race, culture, or age. Children were able to share on why it is important to have inclusivity in Singapore. Some of the children were able to share that being caring and sharing to someone who is of a different cultural background from them can show values like compassion and unitedness in the multicultural society that they live in. Furthermore, children were able to share with one another one the importance of these positivity gestures and acts.
Respect Cultural Differences: They explored on the different cultural background of their peers. The teachers had a showcase Indian, Malay, Chinese, Italian, Korean, Japanese food variety. Students of mixed culture proudly cited examples of Thai, Vietnamese, Vegetarian food to their classmates.
There was an exposure on music and movement related to the topics such as the popular song ‘The More We Get Together’, ‘So Many Colours, So Many Shapes’. Artworks and collaborative discussions were useful to enable the K1 and K2 children to understand the importance in respecting others culture, age, gender and abilities.
We celebrated Racial Harmony with parents and children on 21 July 2022.
To commemorate the celebrations, children had Show and Tell on various types of food, clothing and desserts one can find in Singapore. They were played games of the past during the kampong days. Children learned a simple Indian Dance and performed the dance through which they learned to appreciate and enjoy other races music and art forms. They used the drums and claves to perform as they swayed to the catchy music. The children were enraptured and keen to learn how different ethnicities can live in harmony, in Singapore. They learned to appreciate and respect other cultural practices in our community.
September Holiday- Kindness Week
A Kindness Message: Children had the opportunity to be able to use the “Singha” lion and create a kindness message that can written anyone older or of the same age as well as a different race as them. Children had opportunities to discuss about what inclusion of different races meant and as well as what it meant to be kind and concerned about the people around them. Children were able to discuss and come up with positive and motivating quotes that can bring joy and happiness to one another.
Helping Hands where children took turns to act out various gestures on how they can show their care for our seniors and or include someone with challenging physical needs. The other children on the other hand had to mimic his/her every move. To wrap up this activity, children got to draw out their kind gesture.
AIC-Collaboration with St Luke’s Eldercare Centre
On 29th July 2022 we virtually connected with the seniors from St Luke’s ElderCare Serangoon Centre. The children performed and interacted with the seniors. During the interaction session, the seniors shared about their hobbies, their friends of diverse backgrounds and the multicultural food they enjoy eating then and now with the children.
We met up virtually with the seniors again on the 19th August 2022. The children prepared pictures of past and present Singapore and gathered interesting findings and knowledge from the seniors’ sharing.
Singapore Kindness Movement
Kindness Makes Us Stronger Puppet Show, we caught Singa and the Kindness Cubbies in a puppet show and explored the values of patience, social responsibility and friendship. Through this our children discovered how a little kindness goes a long way in making someone’s day! After the show, children role played and concluded that kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world no matter what you look like.
Collaboration with families
Children had opportunities in collaborating with their families to create collages to covey meaningful messages on the concept of embracing differences through kindness as well as core values that ties up with our PCF Grit Values.
Ranger Buddies - Sally and the great bird search
Through this virtual interactive session. Children learnt about the amazing diversity of birds and discovered how the keepers at Jurong Bird Park cared for these birds. Prior to the session children decorated their headbands, grouped themselves and acted out their differences.
Our Finale- The Giving Bag
Collaboration with Food Bank
In the final phase of the project, we wanted our children to learn about social responsibility. There are families with diverse needs in the community. Through collaboration with FOOD BANK Singapore Pte Ltd in distributing donated food items to underprivileged families, children learnt to recognize the needs of others and understand the resilience of a family in unity. Children were involved in the contribution and packing of food items for underprivileged families.