Year 2024
April 2024

From Sceptic to Advocate: Building Bridges for Children to Learn

April 29, 2024

It was the November school holidays in 2009 and C3 wanted to run a bridging programme to help a small group of K2 children develop reading skills before they started P1. I was very sceptical of the effort thinking that a period of 6 mornings would not make a difference since developing reading skills requires time.

However, the team of volunteers driving the bridging programme needed help so I stepped in since I was available and had the skillset.

To my utter surprise, I saw how the six mornings of lessons in the bridging programme made a difference in the children – they showed improvement in phonics knowledge and word recognition!

Starting the Volunteer Journey
I remember saying to C3’s former Executive Director Mr Tan Sek Wah, “Imagine the impact if the sessions were to be a year-long programme!” He looked at me and challenged me, “Why don’t you develop the programme?” I couldn’t resist the challenge as I was excited about the potential impact a year-long programme could have in the lives of these young ones. That was the start of my volunteer journey in C3.

2009 Bridging Programme









I was quite happy volunteering but there were limitations to what a volunteer could do. C3 needed a full-time staff to manage the children’s programmes. Soon I was convicted by the impact of the programme on the children. I recognised that I should not walk away from further developing the work.

Employed to Empower Children
I submitted my application for the position and came on board as a C3 staff member on 2 Jan 2015. It was with much apprehension as it seemed like I was going against the flow – re-entering the workforce at that stage of life when my peers were looking to slow down in preparation for early retirement.

Eunice at work with the P1s

What compels me to continue the work are 2 areas of impact that I have seen:

(1) Giving Children the Support to Learn to Read because they want to Learn
When told the online GROW lesson had come to an end for that session, 7-year-old *Farah said, “I want to learn some more” because she was experiencing success in the phonics activity during that lesson.

(2) Moving Children from Fear to the Joy of Learning
When I met 5-year-old *Adil, he scrunched up his face and shook his head as I tried to gently assure him I would help him learn. After 6-7 lessons, he declared, “I love to learn” as he recognised the 3 letters he was learning over the weeks.

Looking back, I am amazed and humbled by how the past 14 years in C3 have been such a time of growth for me, personally, as well as for the children’s programmes.

C3 is a place where people of passion come together to make a difference for the community. For me, I get to pursue my passion of empowering children through literacy.

*Clients’ names are not real