Shining Star Reads is a community-based reading programme and OCIP in Tembusu College organised by our partner organisation BLESS (Bringing Love to Every Single Soul). It aims to improve literacy outcomes and engagement levels of children aged 4-9 from lower-income families, using a structured curriculum created by educators of various levels to teach them English.

Every week, we go down to CASA Clementi to work with children from rental units in Clementi and help them to improve their reading and writing skills by using storybooks and workbooks - in order to track their progress, we assess their literary skills at the start and end of each year. Sessions dedicated to holistic learning opportunities such as creative art and craft sessions are also organised regularly for the children throughout the year in order to develop their tactile and kinaesthetic skills.

The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.