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SUN Club Celebrates 3rd Anniversary with More Field Trips organised for Children with Special Needs

Singapore, 08 May 2008The ‘Special Projects to Understand Nature’ (SUN) Club programme, sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Foundation and initiated by National Parks Board (NParks), celebrates its 3rd anniversary this year with 50% more field trips organised for children with special needs.

Sun Club is the first nature appreciation programme to parks and nature reserves, specially designed for students with special needs. The participants get to visit some of Singapore’s nature areas with trained guides and volunteers so that they, like other children, get to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

Since its inception in Oct 2006, the programme has benefited close to 1,600 children with special needs as they visited nature areas and parks such as Pasir Ris Park, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

The programme has been very well received, with overwhelming response for the field trips. To reach out to more children with special needs, 60 field trips will be organised for about 1,200 children this year, a 50% increase from the 40 trips organised last year.

For the first time, the programme has expanded the locations to include Chek Jawa Wetlands at Pulau Ubin, East Coast Park and Fort Canning Park. At Chek Jawa Wetlands, the children will be visiting the mangrove habitat and the sand bar where they will be introduced to animals such as the carpet anemone, sea cucumber, sea stars and other marine animals.

Four more schools will be participating in Sun Club this year, namely, MINDS (Lee Kong Chian Gardens School), MINDS (Yio Chu Kang Gardens School), AWWA special School and APSN Katong. Currently, 7 schools are already on board the programme. This means that about half of the special schools in Singapore are Sun Club participants.

Ms Ginney Lim, General Manager of SPH Foundation, said: "Through the SUN Club programme, children with special needs get the opportunity to enjoy the interesting flora and fauna found in our nation's beautiful parks and nature reserves. SPH Foundation is glad to contribute to the children's overall well-being by providing such a meaningful experience for them. To ensure that the students get the most out of the programme, our partner NParks has worked closely with the various schools to customise the nature trips according to their needs."

Commented Dr Leong Chee Chiew, Chief Operating Officer of NParks: “We are glad to have the continuous support of SPH Foundation in this programme. We look forward to involving more children with special needs in our visits to our parks and nature reserves, so that they can enjoy Mother Nature and learn more about Singapore’s rich biodiversity.”

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Foundation and the National Parks Board

For more information, please contact:

Sherlyn Yap (Ms)
Singapore Press Holdings Foundation
6319 1226/9177 0747
Email : syap@sph.com.sg

Ng Hui Bing (Ms)
Communications Manager
National Parks Board
6471 7812/9117 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 more than 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 the scientific authority on nature conservation, NParks monitors and coordinates measures to ensure the health of Singapore’s biodiversity.

NParks is also the lead agency in the efforts to continually upgrade the Landscape and Horticulture Industry in Singapore. It works closely with industry partners to promote good work practices and create a thriving, 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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