City Harvest Children’s Church organized a full day of fun and education for some 900 children.
By Lynn Tan
School is out and holidays are in! To kickstart the holidays with a bang, staff and volunteers from City Harvest Children’s Church took 929 children on various field trips on Saturday, Nov. 20—the first day of the year-end school holidays.
The places visited include the Hausmann Marketing Aquarium, the Farmart Centre, the Marina Barrage, the Social Change Exposition at Raffles Girls School, the Philatelic Museum, the Newater Visitor Centre and various fire stations around Singapore. These visits were selected so that children would not only enjoy themselves but also gain valuable experience beyond the walls of the classroom.
The air was abuzz with excitement as the volunteers led sing-alongs, games and activities on chartered buses that fetched the children from across the island to the various venues. Many parents also accompanied their children in the excursions, making the experience more meaningful for the young ones.
SOCIAL CHANGE EXPOSITION
On the day of the field trips, Singapore’s first children’s social change exposition was held at Raffles Girls School. A total of 86 children were bused down to participate in the exposition. Various social projects done by children between 9 and 14 years of age, from schools and independent groups across Singapore, were showcased during the exhibition.
The theme of the exhibition was “I Can,” with the objective of letting every child know that he or she can make a contribution to social change even at a young age.
There was an interactive session of story telling which emphasized that everyone has the power to make a difference in society.
The children were given the opportunity to make environmentally friendly window cleaners out of clay, while being blindfolded.
At the Farmart Centre, the children enjoyed close interaction with animals such as fishes, parakeets, tortoises, guinea pigs, rabbits and goats. They were allowed to feed some animals with carrots and hay. Some younger children, who were initially afraid of the animals, overcame their inhibitions with encouragement from the teachers.
At the Marina Barrage, the children explored the exhibits, which showcased the barrage as a city reservoir, dam and family lifestyle hub. One exhibit that caught the children’s attention was a model of the barrage demonstrating how it works. It showed the dam lifting when rain poured down to compensate for the difference in water levels.
The vast expanse of flat green fields at the barrage rooftop proved to be a hit as adults and children alike whipped out their kites and flew them with great gusto.
HAUSMANN MARKETING AQUARIUM
At the Hausmann Marketing Aquarium, the children were taught the techniques of rearing exotic fishes. They also saw the feeding of some of the large fishes and had the opportunity to feed the koi and tortoises. The “LongKang Fishing” session was the most enjoyable time for most of the children as they enjoyed the thrill of chasing small fishes and netting them.
The fire station visits proved to be enriching for the children. Because of the large number of participants, the children had to be divided into nine groups visiting nine different fire stations. At each fire station, the fire sergeant gave the children a brief introduction on what a fire fighter does, the various safety gear they put on, the equipment they use and the different types of fire engines.
The group was also taught how to use a fire extinguisher and learned that foam is used to put out big fires while water is used for small fires. What made this excursion memorable for the children was the opportunity to use the water hose and climb on the extra long ladders that are used by fire fighters to reach fires high above ground level. This proved to be an immensely thrilling experience for the kids.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF CITY HARVEST CHILDREN’S CHURCH|
Miguel Reyes, 6, was inspired by this visit and said, “I think a fireman’s job is very challenging. They risk their lives to rescue people. I want to be a fire fighter when I grow up.”
The day ended with many memories of a fun and fulfilling day for both the children and the parents who tagged along. One mother, Mrs. Chai, who accompanied her two children, Ruyi and Zhi Kang, to the excursion, was extremely grateful for the opportunity, and said, “I want to thank City Harvest for this enriching weekend my children and I had. I am looking forward to future road trips!”