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SUN CLUB Programme reaches out to more children

SPH Foundation and NParks' programme brings nature closer to more students with special needs

Singapore, 29 October 2007 Sixteen Metta School students aged between 7 to 12 years old will be making a fun and educational trip to Pasir Ris Park today to learn about nature and the environment, in a special programme catered for children with intellectual and physical disabilities.

The ‘Special projects to Understand Nature’ (SUN) Club programme, sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Foundation and initiated by National Parks Board (NParks), was launched at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in October 2006. The first nature appreciation programme tailored for students with special needs, it has been extremely well-received with overwhelming demand for the field trips. SUN Club participants get to visit some of Singapore's most fascinating nature areas with trained guides and volunteers, and bring home fond memories of Singapore's biodiversity.

This year, the SPH Foundation has increased its sponsorship in order for the programme to benefit even more children. Some 40 field trips for about 1,100 children with special needs was held this year, bringing the total number of students who enjoyed the field trips to close to 1,600 children since last October.

These students come from schools such as Metta School, Grace Orchard School, Tanglin School, Delta Senior School and Chao Yang School. This year, the SUN Club programme is reaching out to two more schools with students with higher or multiple disabilities - the Singapore School for the Visually Handicapped and the Spastic Children's Association School.

The SUN Club programme was developed in consultation with teachers from special schools, with the aim of making nature come alive for their students. For 2006, schools could choose to visit Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or Pulau Ubin, where their students could see interesting flora and fauna not easily found elsewhere.

This year, another park was added to the list - Pasir Ris Park. At 71 hectares, this popular coastal park is one of Singapore's largest parks. Under the SUN Club programme, students can visit the Spice Garden, learn which plants were used to produce different daily food items, taste some familiar food and spices, do vegetable printing, and even feed ponies.

Ms Ginney Lim, General Manager of SPH Foundation said: "The SPH Foundation believes that children with special needs should also be exposed to nature and get a chance to enjoy the great outdoors. It is heartwarming to see the children's smiles as they experience new things and learn about rare animals, insects and plants during the trips. SPH Foundation is pleased to be able to work with NParks on such a meaningful programme."

Dr Leong Chee Chiew, Chief Operating Officer, NParks said: "The SUN Club programme is based on the idea that nature should be accessible to everyone. In its second year now, I am glad that the programme has already reached out to close to 1,600 students with special needs. We are fortunate to have the support of SPH Foundation and we look forward to bringing more students to enjoy our nature reserves and parks."

Special schools who are interested to take part in the programme in future can contact Ms Jeanne Tan of the National Parks Board, via email jeanne_p_h_tan@nparks.gov.sg or call 6794-2414.

Media Invitation

You and your reporter and photographer are cordially invited to join us on the SUN Club programme field trip.

Date: 29 October 2007 (Monday)
Time: 1.45pm - 4.45pm
Venue: Pasir Ris Park (Car Park C)

Please confirm your attendance with Adrian Cheong at 6319 2261 or email at cheongcy@sph.com.sg by 26 Oct 07, 4pm.

26KB SUN Club Programme for Metta School
Please click here.
26KB Background on Metta School
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Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Foundation and the National Parks Board

For more information, please contact:

Adrian Cheong
Singapore Press Holdings Foundation
DID: 6319 2261
Hp: 9798 6097
Email: cheongcy@sph.com.sg

Ng Hui Bing (Ms)
Communications Manager
National Parks Board
DID: 6471 7812
Hp: 9117 9792
Email: ng_hui_bing@nparks.gov.sg


About the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation

The Singapore Press Holdings Foundation, a registered charity and an Institution of Public Character, was set up in January 2003 to help build a lifelong learning community that embraces language enrichment, creativity, diversity, healthy living and sports. The seed contribution of $20 million to the Foundation came from media group Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. For more information, please visit the Foundation's website at www.sphfoundation.org.sg.

About National Parks Board

National Parks Board (NParks) is responsible for providing and enhancing greenery of the Garden City. Beyond green infrastructure, NParks is committed to enhance the quality of life through creating memorable recreational experiences and lifestyles.

NParks manages some 300 parks, the park connector network and the lush roadside greenery in Singapore. Some of the parks managed include Singapore Botanic Gardens, Fort Canning Park, East Coast Park, Bishan Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Pulau Ubin Recreation Area. In addition, NParks manages nature reserves such as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

As Singapore's scientific authority on nature conservation, NParks monitors and coordinates measures to ensure the health of designated nature areas.

NParks is also the lead agency in the efforts to continually upgrade the Landscape Industry in Singapore. It works closely with industry partners to promote good work practices and create a thriving, creative, innovative and professional industry that will support Singapore's aspirations of being a City in the Garden.

For more information, log on to: www.nparks.gov.sg

 

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