SINGAPORE - Demand for second-hand textbooks for the new school year has grown, said NTUC FairPrice, which distributes them to needy students.
About 20,000 people have registered with grassroots organisations for the books, an almost 10 per cent rise from 18,500 last year.
Under this priority student scheme of the longstanding Share-A-Textbook project, they will receive the textbooks before the door is open for distribution to the public.
With the rise in demand, FairPrice hopes to collect 385,000 used textbooks.
On Thursday, its donation drive was launched at FairPrice Xpress @ Esso East Coast, as 22 FairPrice Xpress outlets at Esso service stations joined the list of collection points for the books.
The books, which should be in good condition, can also be dropped off at all FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra stores.
The collection drive runs till Dec 8, and people who drop the books at Esso service stations will get 120 Smiles driver reward points to mark ExxonMobil's 120th year in Singapore.
On Dec 15, the textbooks will be distributed at four secondary schools: Yio Chu Kang, Changkat Changi , West Spring and Gan Eng Seng School. FairPrice chief executive Seah Kian Peng said the project "not only helps needy students save on their textbook costs but also encourages recycling and thrift among the younger generation".
The project has, in the past 30 years, handed out more than 2.75 million textbooks, enough to encircle Singapore's coastline more than four times.
On Thursday, FairPrice also said it has awarded almost $600,000 in study grants this year to more than 900 children of lower-income FairPrice members and employees.
These grants range from $200 for primary pupils to $3,000 for tertiary students.
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