Members of public encouraged to donate textbooks at 147 donation points across all FairPrice stores, FairPrice Finest, FairPrice Xtra Hypermarkets and FairPrice Xpress outlets
SINGAPORE, 6 November 2014 – NTUC FairPrice launched its 32nd Share-A-Textbook Project today, and appeals to the public to provide a meaningful second ‘home’ for their pre-loved textbooks by recycling them for a worthy cause. This year, FairPrice aims to collect 400,000 school textbooks that are still in good condition – an increase of about 5 per cent from last year – to benefit less fortunate students. About 20,000 students have since been registered under the priority student scheme where they will get to pick the donated textbooks first.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO (Singapore), NTUC FairPrice, said, “FairPrice Share-A-Textbook project has grown with the community and has become a familiar project that not only embodies the giving spirit of giving but also encourage recycling through the act of donating used textbooks. We have been able to keep this project going over the last 32 years due to the support we received from the community, our volunteers and partners.”
The Share-A-Textbook project has collected over 3.135 million books since 1983; this equates to saving about 37,620 trees. According to a study conducted by Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in 2013, the rate of recycling for paper is 54%; recycling books by passing them on to others is the least preferred method of recycling in Singapore. The FairPrice Share-A-Textbook project strives to promote conservation of resources through reusing and recycling of the books while imparting the spirit of giving and inculcating the value of thrift in the young.
Mr Seah added, “This year, we have raised our goal to collect 400,000 textbooks and we will definitely need the continued support of our customers. To make it more convenient for our customers, all FairPrice and FairPrice Finest supermarkets, FairPrice Xtra hypermarkets, and FairPrice Xpress convenience stores spread across Singapore will be open as collection centres for textbooks. We urge our customers join us in doing good by giving generously to this project.”
Members of the public can donate their textbooks at 147 FairPrice supermarkets, FairPrice Finest, FairPrice Xtra and FairPrice Xpress outlets at Esso service stations, from today till 7 December 2014.
FairPrice has also been partnering with Volunteer Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and Community Development Councils (CDCs) to shortlist names of students from low-income families who will receive “priority student” status. These students will be given priority to pick up the textbooks on a separate date before the general public is invited to collect books they need. About 20,000 students between the ages of 7 to 16 years old have been registered under the priority student scheme.
Involvement from the community
Some 600 volunteers from over 110 supporting partners and FairPrice staff will come together to help bring the Share-A-Textbook to fruition this year. Volunteers will coordinate to assist in areas such as logistics, promotional efforts, mass community collection, sorting and distribution of the textbooks, contributing more than 2,400 worth of man-hours. The number of supporting partners has jumped by over 10-fold from 2010, highlighting the value and positive impact that the project has brought to the community.
Changkat Changi Secondary School, Gan Eng Seng School and Yio Chu Kang Secondary School are three community partners, which will serve as designated distribution centres for textbooks to be distributed from. Staff and students from the schools will assist to sort and distribute the textbooks. The public distribution day will be on 14 December 2014 at the three schools.
Beyond the collection of textbooks, FairPrice strives to enable the accessibility of education for close to 1,000 students through the providence of study grants worth about $580,000. An annual initiative launched 30 years ago, the grants are provided to selected FairPrice union members and FairPrice employees for their children in primary school, secondary school or tertiary institutions. The grants range from $200 for primary students to $3,000 for tertiary students.