Nurturing students – both physically and mentally

joey lana Stories


Pearlyn Cheong, a volunteer of CDAC Supervised Homework Group (SHG), mentors the primary school students at the CDAC@ Tampines on every Saturday. To her, the role is not just supervising their homework and tutoring, more importantly, it is about helping the students develop holistically – both physically and mentally.

Every Saturday afternoon, Pearlyn Cheong (32 years old, marketing professional) would report to CDAC@ Tampines to attend to the student participants of SHG without fail.

To most working adults, Saturday afternoons are usually a time to kick back, relax and recharge after a hectic work week. Pearlyn, on the contrary, finds happiness in spending time with the children.

Together with 10 other volunteers, she spends 3 hours every Saturday to help close to 20 primary 4 to 6 students with their revision and organise activities for them. The volunteers would spend about 1.5 hours coaching the children on their school work, followed by leisure activities to help relax their body and mind. Outings with the children are also planned to foster greater interaction and bonding.

Pearlyn felt gratified to see the children gradually develop and open up to others in the SHG programme.

“When parents first signed the children up for the Supervised Homework Group, the children would resist and say “Huh? Tuition?”. However, as time passes they began to enjoy the interactions with the big brothers and sisters.  That was when they would come for classes voluntarily,” Pearlyn remarked.

Pearlyn used to attend CDAC tuition classes when she was about the same age as her students. In a family bonding activity organised for CDAC tuition students and their families 11 years ago, Pearlyn witnessed the tireless efforts of volunteers and their fun interactions with the children. That inspired and motivated her to sign up as a volunteer.

Over the years, besides helping out in the SHG, she was also involved in organising events such as Project C.A.R.E. and Volunteers’ Day.

“Focusing on the children’s physical and mental development, we organise interactive activities such as games and handicrafts which allow the children to interact with each other.  Sometimes, the children will do their own speeches and in the process they learn to express themselves. It gives me great satisfaction to see the children slowly make progress and develop from someone shy to a more confident and expressive person,” said Pearlyn.

Source: 联合早报 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.