All of us here at Presbyterian Preschool Services would like to wish everyone a beautiful and blessed Christmas! As Christmas Day approaches, most would agree that it is indeed a very special time of the year. Everyone looks forward to cosy Christmas gatherings which come with heart-warming conversations, delicious food and gift exchanges!
However, that is not all there is to Christmas. We remember the story about how a baby was born in a manger on Christmas Day all those years ago. While shepherds were watching their flocks that night, they saw a bright shining light. An angel appeared to tell them the good news about a new Saviour being born. Then, the shepherds were filled with even more wonder and amazement as a choir of angels filled the sky and sang songs of praise. Indeed, the news of Jesus being born brought much joy and peace to us that very Christmas night and beyond!
Romans 15:13a May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.
Amidst all the festivities this Christmas, we are also reminded of those families who are less fortunate than others, and need extra care and support. In this season of giving, we urge you to come alongside us as partners to help inspire hope and joy by blessing our little ones.
The following stories are a testament to how our teachers and staff have sought to love our children beyond the confines of the four walls of their classrooms to allow them to grow and glow.
When Andrew first joined our childcare service at 20 months, our teachers noticed that he was always hungry. He also seemed to be smaller in size than the rest of his peers of the same age. During class activities, he would walk unstably, often choosing to crawl instead. At meal and snack times, he was eating slower and lesser than his friends. Eventually, they realised that it was because he was not able to chew properly. Andrew would also show up in school without any shoes - this made going for outdoor activities difficult.
One of the first things his teachers did was to buy him two pairs of shoes as they knew it would help him participate in daily outdoor walks and games! The teachers also received support and training from the Education Support Team to learn exercises they could do with Andrew to improve on his core and foot muscles. Partnering with the social worker from Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), they provided support in guiding his parents on how to prepare balanced meals, while his teachers made sure that food served at school was safe for him to swallow.
For Andrew, the challenges and tensions his family face at home is still a daily reality, and they need continued support from the school. However, he is showing progress in walking independently. He is also eating more healthily, in part due to him regularly attending school. His principal and teachers have also become part of the family’s support system, encouraging them with updates of how Andrew has progressed whenever the opportunities arise. Winston
When Winston first enrolled, the teachers noticed that he was not meeting the milestones his similarly-aged peers were. He struggled to socialise and make friends, even though it was clear he wanted to. The teachers believed that he is capable of learning, but he had trouble understanding and following lessons taught and activities conducted. After much patient communication and explanation by both the principals and teachers of the importance of bridging Winston’s developmental milestones, his parents sought the consultation of a specialist. The consultation led to the conclusion that he needs Educational Support due to his developmental needs.
Even though this meant that Winston had to join the Pre-Nursery Class (those turning 3 years) instead of his similarly-aged peers at Kindergarten 1 (those turning 5 years), and that he also had to receive intervention at Rainbow Centre, the team saw it as a win. The careful attention and constant communication from the team meant that Winston got more opportunities to meaningfully participate in lessons and activities that he could understand.
Currently, communication with his parents and grandparents still require much patience and persistence from his principal and teachers. The Education Support Team also provides additional care and support by conducting home visits to help them to relate to and interact with Winston better. There are days when they have to step in in order to care for other areas of his well-being too. Once, he arrived at school with open wounds as a result of severe caning. The team realised that this family would need more support and got in touch with a Child Protection Officer (CPO) from MSF. The team’s relentless persistence in looking out for the child and ensuring that he has opportunities to learn and grow stems from their belief that we must do our best to provide a good start for every child.
*Names have been changed to maintain anonymity.
Little Blessings for Little Ones
Our work at PPS extends beyond what we do for the children in the classrooms, and we hope to show care and support for families in practical ways to help each child grow and glow. This way, more children can come and share in the knowledge of God’s love.
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
If you would like to partner us in our work, you may consider donating to the Little Blessings for Little Ones fund. Find out more here: https://bit.ly/PPSBlessings