Schools win prizes for helping their communities

Nine students from Pathlight School won $3,000 on Tuesday for creating care packages for elderly folk.

It was a plan they came up with for this year's Shop For Your School competition, organised by Little Red Dot, The Straits Times' weekly magazine for primary school pupils.

Shop For Your School awards prize money, sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings Foundation (SPHF), as seed funding for young people to develop ideas to improve their immediate communities.

This year's theme was "Every neighbour matters: Lending a helping hand to your neighbour in need".

Pathlight, the first autism-focused school here, reached out to the residents of Sunlove Home, a home in Buangkok which cares for intellectually disabled adult and elderly patients.

The students were so touched by their experience during a visit two years ago that they came up with the idea of giving them care packages of daily necessities such as cereal and other foodstuff. The team won the silver award.

Ms Tan Ying Xin, 18, a Year 7 student and one of the members of Pathlight's team, noted: "It's important to be compassionate so the elderly will live well."

Winning the bronze award was Chongfu School, which netted $2,000 for its proposal to create a green environment in the community by growing pots of herbs as gifts for residents of Housing Board flats around the school.

Ervyn Lok, nine, a Primary 4 pupil from the winning class, explained that this idea was inspired partially by Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who was known for encouraging the planting of greenery.

The competition, held for the fourth time, began on Feb 24 with a series of tips in Little Red Dot which included how to work as a team and how to focus on a target audience.

Entries were shortlisted and judged by the ST Schools team which produces Little Red Dot as well as IN, its sister publication for secondary schools. This is the second year in a row that SPHF has sponsored the prizes. The judging panel decided not to award first place this year.

This article was first published on May 28, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.