hopeMARCH 2012 : Quality pre-school education can be expensive and, therefore, may not be affordable to parents in the lower income bracket. However, the National One Child One Hope Education Scholarship Programme, initiated by Smart Reader® Worldwide, has made this possible.

While most corporate institutions, through CSR initiatives, give out scholarships to tertiary students, Smart Reader® Worldwide hit upon the novel idea of providing scholarships to very young children.

As has often been said by the founders of Smart Reader Kids®, Dr Richard Ong and Dr K H Wang, “A firm foundation in early years’ education will stand the children in good stead in any future undertakings and thereby ensure that these young learners grow up to be pillars of the nation and also world class citizens.”

In line with the company’s CSR policy initiative, Smart Reader® Worldwide, recently presented education scholarships for the year 2012 to 20 underprivileged preschoolers identified by the Yayasan Tuanku Syed Putra in Perlis.

Dr Richard Ong, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Reader® Worldwide presented the scholarships worth RM84,518.00 to the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Ibni’ Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail, who is also Chairman of Yayasan Tuanku Syed Putra.

The presentation of the scholarships, co-sponsored by Jabatan Perhutanan Perlis, was held at Rimba Herba, a botanical garden planted with various kinds of herbs found in Malaysia. This is the fourth year that financial aid has been extended to underprivileged children for a full year’s study at Smart Reader Kids® Taman Sri Bahagia, Kangar.

The event, which was graced by the Raja Puan Muda, Tuanku Hajjah Lailatul Shahreen Akashah Khalil and Dr K H Wang, Group Executive Director of Smart Reader® Worldwide, was also attended by more than 150 guests, comprising officials of state government authoritiesparents, teachers and children.

Thus far, more than 300 children have benefited from this scholarship programme and been able to gain access to quality pre-school education provided by Smart Reader® Worldwide, the largest franchised pre-school education provider in the country.

“It is crucial for children to learn early in order to mould their character and give them a diverse experience of learning and adopting the social skills which are necessary for a successful school career,” said the Raja Muda.

“Therefore, I encourage all pre-school operators to adopt an open-minded outlook and positive approach for the improvement of the industry, be it in terms of teaching methodology or conducive learning environment,” added the Regent.

“We hope this CSR effort will impact and contribute in some way to nation building. The One Child One Hope Education Scholarship Programme is also extended to children in other states. This year, Smart Reader® Worldwide hopes to be able to help 1000 underprivileged children under this scheme,” Dr Richard Ong remarked.

“To enable this to happen, we are raising funds through the One Child One Hope Charity Concert to be held on the 30th June 2012 at the Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre involving more than 800 children and several famous celebrities.”

Five-year-old Siti Nurmusliha Md. Adzlan is one student who has benefited immensely from the scholarshipIn only three months, Siti displayed significant improvement. Smart Reader Kids® has indeed earmarked an interesting chapter in her life.

“Before this, she could hardly speak or understand English. But now, she can read,write and recognise all letters in the English alphabet and also numbers. Furthermore, I have also seen great changes in her level of confidence and independence,” said Azlia Ishak, her mother.

Just like Siti, another five-year-old, Mohd Nurshawal Fitri also showed impressive performance in just three months.

“From zero knowledge, my son can now read English words and he is improving with constant practice at Smart Reader Kids®,” remarked proud parents, Mohd Ardi Abdullah and Roshita Shaari.

“I saw my son blossoming from a shy boy to a confident and independent child. He shows great interest in general knowledge. Thank you for awarding my son your generous scholarship. It is such a blessing! ” echoed the contented parents.