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Singapore Government

More Than $100,000 Raised for President's Challenge Project 'Start Small Dream Big'

More Than $100,000 Raised for President's Challenge Project 'Start Small Dream Big'

Over 8,000 pre-school children from more than 150 centres contributed over 100,000 hours to plan and participate in community service projects for this year’s President’s Challenge Project “Start Small Dream Big” (refer to Annex A). Apart from many in-kind donations, they also raised more than $100,000 in cash for President’s Challenge beneficiaries and other community organisations. The President’s Challenge beneficiaries include All Saints Home, Lions Home for the Elderly, TOUCH Community Services Limited, The Muslim Missionary Society, Singapore (Jamiyah) and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. These projects were showcased at the “Start Small Dream Big” finale attended by some 3,000 teachers, pre-school children and parents, held in conjunction with ECDA’s Early Childhood Conference and Carnival 2015.

“Start Small Dream Big” (SSDB) was launched in April this year by ECDA and President’s Challenge 2015. Held in conjunction with SG50, SSDB provided a platform for our pre-school children to contribute to the community and support causes they are passionate about. SSDB projects ranged from expressing appreciation to family and friends through acts of kindness, engaging and interacting with the elderly, to fund-raising for various charities. These projects were initiated, planned and implemented by the children, with the support of centres and parents.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam graced the SSDB Finale at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre today, and was accompanied by Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin. President Tan said, “These children have done very well to think beyond themselves and make a difference to the lives of others through the various community activities organised under the auspices of the President’s Challenge ‘Start Small Dream Big’ Project. By developing responsibility, empathy and compassion for others in our young children, we prepare them to become good community citizens of the future.”

Chief Executive of ECDA, Mr Eugene Leong said, “A good early childhood experience not only prepares our children for school, but more importantly, to lead a happy and fulfilling life. In line with this, “Start Small Dream Big” has provided useful life lessons on responsibility, empathy and compassion, and have shown that age is no barrier in making a positive difference to the lives of others. We thank all early childhood educators, parents, family members and the community for supporting our young ones in their projects.”



Start Small, Dream Big (SSDB) is an initiative that brings the early childhood sector together to celebrate SG50 and the 15th anniversary of President’s Challenge. 

More than 8,000 children from over 150 centres participated in the Start Small Dream Big project. They engaged in projects ranging from fund-raising, engagement and interaction with the elderly, care for the environment, and expressing appreciation and kindness to loved ones, friends and family. For more information about Start Small Dream Big, please visit


The President’s Challenge is an annual community outreach and fund-raising campaign for beneficiaries selected every year by the President’s Office. It is a call to all Singaporeans in doing their part to build a more caring and inclusive society. 

Initiated by former President S R Nathan in 2000, the Challenge represents the coming together of people from all walks of life, to help the less fortunate. In 2012, under the leadership of President Tony Tan Keng Yam, the Challenge was expanded to go beyond fund-raising, by including volunteerism and social entrepreneurship. 

Funds raised through this year’s President’s Challenge campaign will be channelled to 86 beneficiary organisations across various sectors.


a) SSDB Finale Photo montage presentation

The photo montage presentation is about 5 minutes long and will give an overview of the SSDB. It will highlight the vision, process and outcome of the collaboration with over more than 150 participating centres.

b) SSDB Finale Song and Dance Performance
In addition, 64 children and 24 teachers from 8 participating pre-schools led 1,200 children to showcase their efforts through a song and dance performance. These centres are:

 No Name of Centre About the Project 
 1 My First Skool @ Blk 54 Chin Swee Children visited the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum with seniors from NTUC Health’s SilverACE Senior Activity Centre at Bukit Merah.

Children interacted with the elderly and shared their new found knowledge about biodiversity and dinosaurs with them. They also learnt to show care and support for the elderly, such as holding their hands, walking slowly and serving them food.
 2 Kinderland Preschool (Woodlands Mart) The children organised “Little Entrepreneur Day” on 24 August 2015 (Mon) to raise funds for the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund. The fund-raising event was a combination of stalls, exhibits, and science-based workshops organised by the children.

Children learnt how to make ice cream and tap on this new knowledge to become little social entrepreneurs. They created their own ice cream flavours, mapped out their business strategy and set targets on raising funds for the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund.
 3 MOE Kindergarten @ Blangah Rise Children shared love and showed their appreciation to the cleaners, security guards, and admin support staff who serve the primary school at which their Kindergarten is situated.

They went around observing and interviewing these staff and discussed how they could help. The children decided to give up their play time to assist the cleaners, for example, to wash dishes and wipe the windows, as well as help the security guard in his duties at the school gate.
 4 Far Eastern Kindergarten As part of their curriculum, children focused on appreciating their clean and beautiful environment around them. They learnt to be grateful and also explored ways in which they could play an active role in protecting the environment, such as using recycled materials to create 3D art installations.

They also went on nature walks and discovered the beauty of the nature. They cleaned up various community spaces and understood the importance of conserving the environment.
 5 PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Hong Kah Blk 419 The children learnt more about the diverse cultures in our multi-ethnic country and their differences in the area of food, cultures and festive costumes.

Batik painting and Chinese calligraphy/paintings were put on sale. Children were involved in the manning of booths that sold traditional food items such as katchang puteh and popiah. There would also be traditional game stalls such as Five stones and Chapteh. The children also learnt to appreciate each other’s differences and also raised funds for the less fortunate.
 6 Living Sanctuary Kindergarten The children learnt to appreciate the challenges of the elderly and showed them care and compassion. During their daily lessons, children were taught fundamental movements like two-leg jumping, balancing on a beam and overhead throw. The teachers shared with them similar struggles the elderly have with such movements. This teachable moment allowed children to experience and appreciate the challenges faced by the elderly.

The children also visited the elderly home and putting up performances for the elderly through dance and songs. The children presented gifts (daily necessities such as biscuits and milo) to the elderly.
 7 St James’ Church Kindergarten (Leedon) Teachers and children meet the elderly in the community. The children brainstormed what they could do to help the needy elderly they meet. They canvassed and collected daily necessities from parents and sponsors for the elderly. These goodies were packed and given to the elderly during their visit to the elderly home.
 8 Touch Childcare (Clementi) Through the series of events planned for the year, children learnt to be appreciative and contribute in their own way to people around them, especially the elderly and people/family with needs. The children will also be playing their part to be a good neighbour to mark Good Neighbour's Day in November.

c) President’s Challenge Booth

5,000 dot drawings by all participating children were on display as a representation of the commitment and efforts put in by them in support of Start Small Dream Big. These dot arts were pledges made by the children at the launch of the Start Small Dream Big President’s Challenge Project. Parents, conference participants and guests were invited to contribute $2 donations to sponsor the display of these dot arts and all proceeds would go to President’s Challenge beneficiaries.

d) Start Small Dream Big Project Exhibition Booths

Seven participating Start Small Dream Big centres put up exhibition booths to showcase their Start Small Dream Big projects. These projects were intended to serve as a good source of inspiration for all to contribute and give back to the community. They include:

Booth  Booth description 
 1 My First Skool @ Blk 166 Punggol Central  Parents and children used recycled materials and old unwanted items to “up-cycle” and produce various “new” interesting items. The products were auctioned off to raise money for a PC Beneficiary, the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

Examples include making a white board from refrigerator parts, pencil holders from old lotion bottles, mini grocery bags sewn from old clothes.
 2 MY World @ Tampines North Children encouraged everyone to play their part in showing kindness by creating kindness bookmarks and little cards. These little gifts were given to the community.

In addition, they also designed kindness coupons for their parents. Parents could use these coupons to redeem “acts of services” from their children such as cleaning and caring for younger siblings.
 3 Pat’s Schoolhouse @ Mount Sinai Drive
In conjunction with Father’s Day, children were encouraged to wash their fathers’ cars. In return, their fathers donated to PC Beneficiaries.

In the process of washing the cars and raising money for the community, children could reflect on the importance of hard work and giving back to the community.
 4 PCF Sparkletots @ Eunos 650
Collaboration between the centre and Jamiyah Children’s Home brought the children closer to the community.

Teachers and children organised a carnival where parents and children were involved in designing batik fabric. The batik was taken to a community home for the children to colour it together with the residents. The final product was then made into a sari.
 5 Nobleland Arts N Learning Place Pte Ltd
Children and teachers visited museums and prominent landmarks of Singapore. Pre-and-post learning journeys activities were planned and organised to provide rich context where children could draw and paint their aspirations for Singapore.

22 big canvases of children’s work put up for a fund-raising event.
 6 EtonHouse 223 @ Mountbatten
Children learnt how their skills and talents could benefit others.

They painted and drew art pieces. These works showcased children’s ideas, imagination, creativity and competencies. Their works were displayed and auctioned for the community.
 7 St Anne’s Kindergarten
The children spent a week as part of the curriculum learning useful skills like baking, art and craft and planting a terrarium.

This culminated in a walkathon around the school estate at the school premise where the children’s food and the products were sold to parents to raise funds. The parents and children were also able to bond through a mini carnival with games.

The children learnt to extend their love and kindness through these new skills.


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