In every child, there is a treasure trove of undiscovered interests and abilities. For some children, however, the opportunities to develop, learn and find their strengths are not always readily available.
Having encountered children from lower-income families who could not recognise the alphabet, write their own name correctly or count accurately to 20 at a primary-school age, we wanted to push against the lack of exposure and guidance, and help give them a better start in Singapore.
Learning Vessels was born because we believe that every child is like a precious vessel, waiting to be filled with new ideas and knowledge, which can propel them in a positive trajectory. As most of us are mothers ourselves, we understand every parents’ hope to give their children the best start that they can in life.
Learning Vessels works with partner charities and volunteers to provide intervention-based literacy and numeracy programmes for 6-8 year olds. We also work to meet other critical needs for children or youth from other age groups. These programmes have impacted over 500 underprivileged children to date. Our profits go towards longer-term support for our charity programmes, which we run as operating partners for EDIS Cares.
From our years of experience working with many different families, children and caregivers, we have also developed quality learning products and programmes for use at home or for partners who work with this segment of our community. Our materials are developed by experts in the field of literacy intervention, scientific research and programme development.
Sharon is an Educational Therapist. She started her teaching career as an NIE-trained teacher and later specialized in Dyslexia Intervention through Dyslexia Action UK. She has taught for over 13 years, with the majority of her teaching career focused on remediating underachieving children, or those diagnosed with learning difficulties like specific language disorder and dyslexia. She is a gifted educator and has been able to help many children learn to read and spell successfully, even getting As, despite their learning challenges. Sharon has two daughters. Her greatest joy, besides her family, is to see the children she teaches get their “ah ha!” moment when things fall into place and they begin to read!
After completing her degree in Biochemistry in National University of Singapore, April started work in A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. She then trained in in-vivo pharmacology in a biotech company in Paris before returning to Singapore to complete her PhD in Biological Sciences at NUS under an A*STAR staff scholarship. She worked as a post-doctoral researcher in Genome Institute of Singapore before joining Hsin-Ee at EDIS to expand its programmes, in particular the ELP, to multiple charities in Singapore. April was responsible primarily for the start-up and operational oversight of a ELP site in Bukit Merah, and co-developed teaching materials for the children. April is a mother of two boys and a 4 year-old girl.
Hsin-Ee completed her undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University on an Economic Development Board (EDB) scholarship. Thereafter she worked for over 10 years at EDB and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). She joined EDIS in 2014 to start the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility effort, EDIS Cares. As part of this, she developed charity-based programmes for underprivileged children, which have since impacted over 400 children. She has focused particularly on the Early Learning Programme, where she co-developed curriculum and materials, trained volunteers, and tested and taught children from underprivileged families. Hsin-Ee is trained in supporting children with reading and math difficulties, and has 3 active boys.
Hwee Ching completed her degrees in Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Business at the University of Pennsylvania on an EDB scholarship. After 2.5 years at the EDB, she was supported by A*STAR for her PhD studies at Cambridge University. She has worked in academic institutions and multinational pharmaceutical companies. Hwee Ching first taught children during her school days, while volunteering with Chaoyang School and a CDAC centre. Then, she had a cursory understanding that some children learned differently and felt inadequate when teaching them. Now, as the mother of a preschooler, she better appreciates how we learn differently even as adults. She hopes to use her experiences to help children overcome their learning limitations and realise their full potential.
Our Young(er) People
Min Chon is a passionate youth who has spent several years volunteering for underprivileged children and elderly. He is a pioneer member of Project Refresh!, a nation wide initiative to freshen up the living environment of low-income families. He is also an executive member of SGExams, the largest online student community in Singapore. He will be pursuing a Bachelors in Business Administration in NUS and hopes to apply his wide expertise to improving the lives of many under Learning Vessels.
Farah trained in Visual Communications and Business Management. She has experience teaching preschoolers and older children in academic and sports programmes. She manages our marketing and social media efforts, supports the development of new teaching materials, and runs her own business designing original paper prints! She is excited to be contributing her skills and experience to Learning Vessels and hopes to impact more children.