Teenagers and elderly set new record for lantern-making.
Contributed by Lau Ber Nard
|PHOTOS: Tan Song Kow
A month into 2010 and the students of Ngee Ann Secondary School have already broken a national record and done good for their community all at the same time.
As part of their Outdoor Learning Experience program, 370 Secondary Two students from Ngee Ann Secondary School joined 101 senior citizens to set a new record for making paper lanterns. These elderly are all clients of City Harvest Community Services Association.
OLE is a Community Involvement Program which acts as a platform for the students to inculcate empathic understandingand care for others. It gives the youth an opportunity to serve their community, instilling values of volunteerism and a sense of identity with an older generation.
On Jan. 21, the students went through a five-hour session with trainers and volunteers from CHCSA and People of Destiny. They were taught to appreciate the importance of effective communication, volunteerism, event management, game planning and performance operation. After the training, the students were given charge on Jan. 22 to run the event. The day began with performances for the elderly which included guzheng, wushu and a choir recital. Following that was a time of games at various booths created specially for the elderly.
After the entertainment, they got down to business. One student paired with one elderly partner to watch an instructional video that taught them how to make lanterns using angpow paper and a stapler. For 15 minutes, a record number of 426 students, senior citizens, teachers, trainers and volunteers worked together to make as many paper lanterns as they could.
A certificate was awarded by the officials from the Singapore Book of Records. Some of the lanterns were then given to the elderly to bring home in preparation for the upcoming Chinese New Year. For the youth, it was a powerful lesson in appreciating the older generation; for the elderly, a reminder that no matter how old they are, they play an important role in society and that they are never too old to make history.