My Dad – A Chinese storyteller
23 Oct 2014
Contributed by Grace Ma, a parent volunteer at Ngee Ann Primary School.
They may skip around and chatter noisily. But when parent volunteer Liu Yong enters the classroom for storytelling sessions, these usually active Primary 1 and 2 students quickly take their seats in eager anticipation.
At Ngee Ann Primary School, Mr Liu is the only father among seven parent volunteers, who bring Mandarin tales to life with their lively narrations.
Mr Liu moved to Singapore from Beijing with his family in 2012. As a native Mandarin speaker, he saw the storytelling programme as an opportunity to contribute to the school and to participate in his son’s school activities.
“Storytelling by a parent brings a fresh touch into a child’s education. Fathers also bring their own unique way of telling stories that is different from the way mothers do it,” says Mr Liu.
Junior also feels a sense of pride with daddy’s involvement. Mr Liu’s son, Jia Ming, eight, shares how he is excited when he sees his father in school and feel proud when his friends talk about the storytelling sessions.
Ngee Ann Primary School’s principal, Mr Koe Ee Tiong, is encouraged to see a growing number of fathers participating in school activities. Some continue to volunteer even after their children have graduated from the primary school.
“We are always looking for more ways to involve fathers in their children’s lives. We have had an annual fitness day at East Coast Park where fathers ran alongside their children to provide moral support. During a day camp for Primary Six students, many fathers also took leave to bond with their children through games and tele-matches,” said Mr Koe.