Storybooks With A Twist

Fun story telling session through role-play of the book ‘New Croc on the Block’.

As a member of the Raffles Ecological Literacy Programme (RELP) team, I had the opportunity to attend field trips to nature areas throughout Singapore as well as author children’s books on local flora and fauna.

You Been to Ubin?’ story telling engages children with interactive activities.

Together with other students and alumni of the RELP team, we even organised storytelling and craft session at last year’s Festival of Biodiversity held at Vivo City. At the event, we read stories from six titles that we had written, e.g. You Been to Ubin? and The Adventures of Max and Ritchie, and had children make masks, hats, and wands, as well as colour pictures from the books.

Our aim was to get children interested in our country’s natural heritage.

Craft session with the authors of the book The Adventures of Max and Ritchie.

The RELP was started by Raffles Institution in 2008 to provide an experiential platform for students to gain both a global environmental outlook and still connect with their local community. The programme also seeks to instil a sense of curiosity and exploration that leads to environmental advocacy.

The RELP places great emphasis on hands-on activities and experiential learning, which includes field trips to nature hotspots throughout the country.

In addition, it also publishes storybooks for children, which convey the message of environmental conservation. The books are written in a humorous yet impactful manner by students, spreading awareness about Singapore’s natural environment and encouraging the young to practise proper park etiquette, to treat our flora and fauna with respect and how to appreciate them.

Some of the titles include Monkey Business, I Will Be Clean and Little Backyard Tales of MacRitchie.

Publications of the Raffles Ecological Literacy Programme, Raffles Institution – all based on local wildlife and wild places.

Authoring the books required us to step into the shoes of children and think like them, while keeping the stories relevant and interesting.

While the project allowed us to be of service to the community, we have also benefited personally from the writing process. Since its inception, the RELP has enabled students to gain a renewed passion and interest for the environment. It will continue to further its mission of helping individuals become ambassadors for nature.

By Adam Shehabuddin

Adam Shehabuddin was a student of the Raffles Ecological Literacy Programme from 2013 to 2014.

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