On Feb. 3, youth center People of Destiny piloted a new initiative aimed at helping secondary one students with the transition from primary school to secondary school. The project, called “Chapter One”, spans over 10 months, with one workshop conducted every month at the POD Centre in Tampines Street 33.
POD is a center for youth set up by CHCSA in collaboration with Tampines Changkat Citizens’ Consultative Committee and Ministry of Community Development Youth & Sports, to provide holistic youth services for the residents of the Tampines GRC. Since January 2007, POD has been engaging youth through activities tackling common issues youth face today.
One POD highlight is the LOUD party, an annual affair that celebrates the notion of “Living Out ‘Ur Dream”. POD’s Program manager, Jonathan Goh, 30s, explains, “We want to provide an environment where youth can enrich their lives through wholesome, enjoyable activities.”
Students from Ngee Ann Secondary School, Dunman Secondary School and East Spring Secondary School attended the first “Chapter One” workshop of the year. They were thoroughly engaged by program director, Alvin Low, as he shared with them his own experiences in secondary school. Low adopted an interactive approach, using questions and answers, and rewarded the students with candy as they participated enthusiastically.
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“We want to offer these students something different from what they are used to in school,” says Low of the methods in which the workshops areconducted. Low also explains that every workshop is customized thematically, touching on different issues, such as having a healthy self-esteem, handling relationships, achieving excellence and success, managing allowances and so on.
Two sessions from the workshops will be dedicated to community work, allowing youth to appreciate the importance of giving back to society. In time, Low hopes that the curriculum used in “Chapter One” will be disseminated in print form for secondary one students in Singapore. For now, collaboration with primary schools is in the pipeline to bring “Chapter One” into school assembly periods.
After the workshop, students, POD staff and volunteers gathered to enjoy snacks provided by the center’s cafe. Adam, 13, a student from Ngee Ann Secondary School, said, “I enjoyed today’s program very much!”
It looks like the first few “pages” of “Chapter One” have opened to a promising start.