FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MM No.: 25/21
Singapore, 13 December 2021
Illustrated with artworks by children and youth, the book validates the experience of the young during this pandemic
1. Children’s book My Coronavirus Story authored by Professor Leo Yee Sin, Executive Director, National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) was launched today by Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung at the Woodlands Regional Library. The book, supported by National Healthcare Group (NHG), aims to educate the young on COVID-19 and encourage resilience in the new normal of living with the virus. It also pays tribute to the courage and selfless contributions of all frontline workers in steering Singapore into the endemic stage. Published by Wildtype Media Group, and sponsored by Tanoto Foundation, the COVID-19 storybook is illustrated entirely with art pieces by children and youth, aged five to 18 years old. These art pieces were entries for the “Celebrating Our Healthcare Heroes” national art competition held earlier this year.
Building Resilience and an Informed Community in the Fight Against COVID-19
2. Targeted at children between four and 12 years old, the book tells the coronavirus story from the perspective of a young child. It explores and articulates the experience, thoughts and feelings of a child living during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 21 colourful art pieces used in the book reinforce the importance of personal hygiene, vaccination and social responsibility in the fight against the virus.
3. Professor Leo Yee Sin, Executive Director of NCID and the author of the book said, “COVID-19 has disrupted our lives, sparing no one. It was a confusing period for our young children as they tried to make sense of the changes around them. I saw first-hand what it means to be on the frontline dealing with COVID-19, and I was inspired to translate my observations into the perspective of the young – to explain the virus in a simple manner, describe how it has impacted their lives and help them see the way forward. It is important to have an informed community as this strengthens our resilience and adaptability.”
4. My Coronavirus Story is an example of how the NHG has worked with private companies for public health advocacy. Professor Benjamin Seet, Deputy Group CEO, Education and Research, NHG, said, “We are grateful for the generous support of Tanoto Foundation and the National Library Board. Educating the public has been key during this pandemic, but efforts to reach out to young children have been limited, even though they have to learn to adjust to the many changes around them. This book serves to fill the gap, and its bright colours bring a message of hope in this time of fear and anxiety.”
5. Ms Imelda Tanoto, member of the Board of Trustees of Tanoto Foundation said, “We are delighted to support this children’s storybook on COVID-19 and to jointly deliver the message of hope and resilience as we look forward to 2022. Our Foundation is a strong advocate of early childhood development, maternal and child health, and medical research. This book represents part of our efforts to support the fight against COVID-19 across a few countries, including Singapore. These efforts, which started early last year, saw us working closely with communities, governments and like-minded partners. We hope this book will inspire children everywhere to continue to play their part in helping their families and communities stay safe, remain healthy and emerge stronger from this global pandemic.”
6. Dr Juliana Chan, CEO and Founder of Wildtype Media Group said, “We organised the national art competition to give the youth in Singapore a chance to share their vision for a post-pandemic world. With this book, we are amplifying their voices in hopes of inspiring children everywhere to play their part in the fight against COVID-19. It should also come as a valuable resource for educators teaching children about the world we are living in right now.”
7. About 1,000 copies of the book have been printed. Members of the public, especially parents and educators, will be able to borrow the book from NLB’s public libraries (except library@chinatown, library@orchard and library@esplanade). The books will also be given to primary schools in Singapore.
Advocating A Growth Mindset in Children to Build Mental Resilience
8. Aligned with NHG’s River of Life population health framework to move upstream towards preventive care, NHG has partnered seven primary schools to pilot a Growth Mindset programme to strengthen the total well-being of children. The programme aims to cultivate a Growth Mindset among students that helps build their desire for learning, self-motivation, mental resilience, as well as promotes healthy eating behaviours. Growth Mindset inculcates students with the belief that intelligence, abilities, skills, personality and character can be developed through deliberate practice, good strategies and support from others. NHG has developed a Growth Mindset Resource Pack to support the schools and parents. It contains age appropriate teaching and learning resources, inspired by real-life issues, for students from the age of seven years old. NHG hopes to make these resources available to more schools so that more of our youth population – the future leaders of Singapore - benefit from such holistic development.
– END –
Click here to download the media release and annex with additional information on "My Coronavirus Story".