Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 03/05/2013 05:50 | By Channel NewsAsia

Promoting literature through "Words Go Round" programme

Promoting literature through "Words Go Round" programme

Promoting literature through "Words Go Round" programme

SINGAPORE : Amid news of declining numbers of students taking Full Literature as an ’O’ Level subject, the National Arts Council is hoping one of its programmes will inspire more students to take the subject in the long run.

It hopes the programme will spark a love for the written word at an early stage.

During a class at Bukit View Primary School recently, a group of nine— to 11—year—olds had to choose among the 40 objects collected by science writer Christy Burne during her travels, and tell a story about the objects’ past.

One student, Jeanette Lee, said: "It made me imagine who could have used these artefacts and where did they come from."

Irfan Ahsan, another student, added: "Actually, we don’t use things that we see — we use our own mind. Now Miss Christy taught us that you can use things that you see, and you can write about them."

The class is part of a two—week programme called "Words Go Round", where about 40 local and international writers, musicians and storytellers are invited by schools.

Pamela Kiew, head of department for English at Bukit View Primary School, said: "What we really want to do is for them to explore things, and based on the knowledge they know from general knowledge or scientific knowledge, they can actually bring these elements into their writing to help bolster their writing and add more meat to their writing..."

The "Words Go Round" programme is into its third year, and has reached some 9,000 students this time around. That is up from 3,000 when it first started.

For its organisers, the National Arts Council, it is about cultivating the love for literature and creative thinking that goes beyond the school curriculum.

Michele Thompson, assistant director of sector development at the National Arts Council, said: "We would like to generate a larger awareness and interest of Singapore writers, Singapore writing, and even if they do not study literature, we hope that they would pick up a book, write a poem, write a song..."

The programme is on until March 9, and has reached about 50 schools this year.

— CNA/ms

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