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Artists to teach their craft in preschool trial

Five preschools to pilot a programme that will see local artists imparting their craft.

SINGAPORE: Children in five Singapore preschools are the first to get a taste of a new programme that gets local artists to teach their craft in preschool classrooms.

The five schools are PCF Sparkletots Pasir Ris West, Soka Kindergarten, Salvation Army Childcare (Bukit Panjang), NTUC My First Skool Yung An and Child@Street11. They are piloting a new Artist-In-School Scheme for preschools, a partnership between the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Early Childhood Development Agency.

Each school receives a grant of up to S$7,000 per project, including teaching and training fees of the artist or arts group. The art forms could be anything from music to painting, to dance, puppetry or clay modelling.

The NAC says up to S$200,000 has been set aside for the scheme over the next two years, and more than 300 children in 10 preschools are expected to benefit. 

"We want our young children to enjoy all the benefits of learning in and through the arts," said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong. "These authentic learning opportunities will ignite their sense of wonder and discovery, and help them develop confidence in expressing themselves." 

One of the artist-educators is Ms Hazel Wong from Ceramique Studio who teaches students basic clay modelling techniques. "The (children's) fingers are their tools and they can make anything they want, so it's really empowering for a kid who may have some fears of using a pencil or using paint," she said.

The Artist-In-School programme also includes training workshops for preschool teachers, which are led by artists. 

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