We initiated StoryTime.sg as a young non-profit collective of volunteers who aim to bring the young and old together through reading. We want to encourage families with children to read to the elderly and to interact with them.
StoryTime started because we were inspired by articles which talked about the mutual benefits that young children derived from reading with the elderly, such as improved literacy for young children and increased levels of emotional well-being for the elderly.
We thought that fostering interactions between these two age groups would help reduce loneliness among the elderly, while showing the Singapore Public at large that visiting the elderly can be a simple activity of reading and chatting. Many Singaporeans are put off from volunteering with the elderly as they are intimidated firstly by the language barrier and secondly by the generation gap. In reality, many elderly are happy to just have company even if the younger party is struggling with either Mandarin or dialect.
We would like to encourage families to sign up for a reading session with a elderly person. The young child can read to the elderly person, and the parents can do a short translation thereafter. Books are loaned to families who sign up (if they require) and families can practise reading the book at home with their child.