Singapore Press Holdings Foundation sponsors “Laugh, Sing & Read: Getting your kids hooked on Reading”— a Forum for parents and educators

Singapore, 10 Nov 2005 Jokes and songs not only reduce stress, they actually help a child to read better. Parents and educators can look forward to gathering more tips on enhancing children’s literacy skills from the “Laugh, Sing & Read: Getting Your Kids Hooked On Reading” Forum next week.

Sponsored by the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Foundation, the Forum is part of the National Library Board’s Asian Children Festival and aims to reach out to parents, educators and caregivers of children below 12 years old. It will be held at the Suntec Theatre from 2pm to 5.30pm on Saturday, 19 November.

This is the second time that the SPH Foundation, formerly known as the Press Foundation of Singapore, has sponsored a Forum for parents. Last year's “Nurturing Readers” Forum for Parents, which was held at the Singapore Expo, saw a full attendance of some 230 participants.

This year, those attending can look forward to an equally good line-up of four specially-invited experts, who will explore the benefit of laughter and song for children, as well as touch on how to develop their awareness, curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

The keynote speaker, Ms Jackie Silberg from Kansas City, USA, is a highly sought-after workshop-seminar leader and performer. Fondly known as “Miss Jackie”, the adjunct instructor of Emporia State University who authored several award-winning titles on early childhood will present an entertaining opening address on how to spark a child’s imagination, creativity and love for learning.

Other presenters of the forum include Mrs Soo Kim Bee, Dr Ruth Y L Wong and Dr Alefiya M. Nomanbhoy. Mrs Soo, the current President of the Society for Reading and Literacy, will discuss ways in which newspapers can be used to enhance children's literacy while Dr Wong, an Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education, will suggest several children's books which parents and educators can use to motivate young readers. Dr Alefiya, Programme Director of Positive LINKS++ , will discuss the learning and behavioural characteristics of children at risk of experiencing reading difficulties and what parents can do about it.

“The SPH Foundation is pleased to present this Forum with National Library Board for the second time. Reading is the key to learning and it can be a fun and imaginative activity. We hope that after this Forum, parents and educators will be able to nurture the love of reading in children, which will in turn, cultivate inquisitive and thinking minds,” said Ms Ginney Lim, General Manager of the SPF Foundation.

At a registration fee of only $21 per participant, the SPH Foundation aims to make this an affordable value-for-money event for the public. Those who are interested to attend the Forum may contact Ms Ariel Chan at 6328 2321 or email her at

For more information, please contact:

Lye Peixian
Singapore Press Holdings Foundation
Tel: 6319 1225

About the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation
The Singapore Press Holdings Foundation, a registered charity and an Institution of Public Character, was first set up as the Press Foundation of Singapore 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. It was renamed Singapore Press Holdings Foundation in May 2005.

  Laugh, Sing & Read:
Getting Your Kids Hooked On Reading
Saturday, 19 November 2005, 2pm-5.30pm
Theatre, Level 3, Suntec Singapore


1.30 pm Registration
2.00 pm Keynote address
Laughing and Singing Make Way for Good Reading
By Ms Jackie Silberg
2.45 pm Using Newspapers to Support Literacy in the Family
By Mrs Soo Kim Bee
3.30 pm Tea Break
3.50 pm Children’s Literature: Laughing with Books
By Dr Ruth Y L Wong
4.30 pm HELP!!! My Child Still Can’t Read. What Should I Do?
By Dr Alefiya M. Nomanbhoy
5.10 pm Panel Discussion
5.30 pm End of Conference


Ms Jackie Silberg
Jackie Silberg (also known as "Miss Jackie" from her television years) is a highly sought after workshop-seminar leader, motivational speaker, and performer. With degrees in Education and Child Development along with graduate work in Piano and Composition, she can entertain and inform with equal ease.

Jackie has worked with thousands of teachers, parents and children presenting keynote addresses, workshops and seminars and family concerts. She appears throughout the US, Canada, Australia and Germany as a speaker, concert artist and talk show guest including appearances on National Public Radio's "Parent's Journal" and "All Things Considered." Activities from her books appear regularly in parenting and early childhood magazines , college texts and journals. The "Today Show" at references Jackie's books on their series "Bringing Up Baby" and features many of her games at their website.

Title: Laughing and Singing Make Way for Good Reading
An inspiring, entertaining and interactive keynote that will show you how you can make a difference in the lives of your children with songs, chants, poems, fingerplays and rhymes.

With an engaging speaking style, Miss Jackie Silberg will motivate you with a combination of child development information and philosophy mixed with a liberal dose of fun.

You will learn activities that use the power of laughter to encourage your children to be creative, learn sequencing skills, develop phonemic awareness, use their imaginations, develop listening skills, and work with rhymes and language. Spark a child’s imagination, creativity and love for learning with these important developmental tools.

Mrs Soo Kim Bee
Mrs. Soo Kim Bee is the Director of LiteracyPlus Consultants. She is also the current President of the Society for Reading and Literacy (SRL) and serves on the 8th Executive Council for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Singapore. She has a Master’s degree in Linguistics and qualifications in the teaching of English Language and Literature. For the past 21 years, she has been involved in education - developing English language curriculum, teaching and conducting teacher training workshops and talks in schools from primary to Junior college levels. Her earlier career in education started as a teacher for seven years before moving on to serve as a Specialist Inspector and Curriculum Specialist in the Curriculum Planning and Development Division, MOE, Singapore. She was also previously an External Examiner for the British Council.

Title: Using Newspapers to Support Literacy in the Family
The first teachers of a child are the parents and the most easily available and economical reading material found in a typical household is the daily newspaper. Newspapers allow a family to share words, ideas, conversations and opinions. It connects the family, the community and the world we live in. The various sections of a newspaper are a rich source of language and text types. This talk aims to share how parents can tap the daily newspaper to enhance the literacy skills of their own children and to provide various opportunities to develop awareness, curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, the very foundations of a lifetime enjoyment of reading and learning.

Dr Ruth Y L Wong
Dr Ruth Y L Wong is Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education. As a teacher educator, she specializes in the teaching of English at the primary level. She is also actively engaged in literacy research. She is passionate about children’s literature and the importance of sharing the joy of children’s books with our children.

Title: Children’s literature: Laughing with books
All of us enjoy a good laugh. In this presentation, the speaker will share the importance of humour for children, and suggest several children’s books which both parents and teachers can use to motivate (reluctant) readers to read, and to inject laughter in our children’s lives.

Dr Alefiya M. Nomanbhoy
Alefiya M. Nomanbhoy holds a Master's and Ph.D. from Northwestern University U.S.A in the Field of Learning Disabilities, Master Certification in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and the Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching in Higher Education from the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. Dr. Alefiya M. Nomanbhoy has had extensive experience in the field of learning disabilities and teacher training. She was at the National Institute of Education, NTU, Singapore from 1994 to 1998 as a lecturer in the School of Education, Division of Specialised Education. At NIE she was involved in training teachers for special schools and teachers who would be entering mainstream education. She continues to lecture in the areas of special needs and effective teaching and learning.

Currently, she is Programme Director of Positive LINKS++ where she conducts Psychoeducational assessments, provides individualized and group interventions for pupils with learning and behavioural challenges. She also conducts workshops for parents and teachers.

Title: HELP!!! My Child Still Can’t Read. What Should I Do?
This presentation aims at helping parents understand the reasons their children struggle with reading and what they can do about it. Learning and behavioural characteristics of children at risk for developing significant reading difficulties or who could potentially have Dyslexia will be highlighted. Emphasis will be placed on “fun” activities that parents can do with their children to lay the foundation for the pre-requisite skills for reading and to reduce the risk for future reading problems.


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