9-year-old author donates $3,600 of proceeds from book sales to the ST School Pocket Money Fund

SINGAPORE – Nine-year-old Rebecca Wong is determined to make a difference by helping underprivileged children.

To achieve her goal, the Primary 3 student at CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School wrote a picture book last December.

A total of 121 books were sold among friends and family, and she donated $3,600 in proceeds to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF).

The fund is a Straits Times community project that provides pocket money to children from low-income families to help with their school expenses.

In Rebecca’s children’s book, The Great Candy Competition, two groups compete for a treasure trove filled with candy.

The winners later decide to split their prize with the losing team.

She told ST on Thursday (July 28) that like the book-winning team, she recognizes her privilege and wants to help others.

“Many children may not have the same blessings as I do, and I chose the fund because I want to give pocket money to those in need.”

With the help of a two-week vacation program by Artistic Strategies, Rebecca wrote and illustrated the 12-page book last year. The educational body prepares young writers by helping them tell stories through various art forms, such as visual arts, clay and music.

More than 1,000 students, aged 6 to 15, have registered for such activities with Arts Strategies over the past seven years.

Its founder and director, Claudine Fernandez, 39, said: “It’s a chance for children to harness their imaginations and develop their own voices, so they can tell their own stories and tell what matters. meaning to them.”

Rebecca’s mother, who wanted to be known only as Ms Wong, 41, recalled how they were initially only going to print 20 copies but ended up printing over 121 copies after realizing there was a request for them.

“We started selling the books in February this year, and the support came from family and close friends. It was all just word of mouth.

“What we considered special was when Rebecca explained that it was for a cause she supported which was to help children,” she added.

Since the launch of the STSPMF in 2000, more than 180,000 cases of children from low-income families have received school pocket money.