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10 December 2005

NTUC FairPrice helps needy families save money on children’s school books for new year

Getting ready for the new school year will be easier for needy families this year - thanks to the NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project, organized in partnership with NTUC's Back-to-School Fair.

More than 5,000 needy students are expected to benefit from the used textbooks collection held at Downtown East and Yio Chu Kang Community Club on 10 December. The used textbook collection is open to members of the public on 12 December.

The NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project promotes recycling and encourages thrift besides helping needy families save money on school books. Said Mr Tan Kian Chew, CEO, NTUC FairPrice, "FairPrice is proud to be able to play a part in helping needy students in the last 23 years. We believe that by organizing this Used Textbooks Project, needy families would be able to channel the expenses of purchasing textbooks to other school necessities such as stationery, uniforms and school shoes. This project also helps to inculcate the habit of thriftiness among students and at the same time, to lend a helping hand to save the environment by recycling and re-using the old textbooks."

More than 100 teenagers from Hwa Chong Institution, Dunman High School and Montfort Secondary School volunteered three weeks of their school holidays to sort donated books for distribution. Besides these students, FairPrice staff volunteers (Club V) are also involved in this annual community project.

Besides free used textbooks, the public can also look forward to purchase a value-for-money backpack set at $5 consisting of a backpack, a pencil case, two pencils, an eraser, a sharpener and a ruler. This backpack set will be sold at the NTUC Back-to-School Fairs from 10 - 12 December and thereafter, at 10 selected FairPrice supermarkets and 3 FairPrice Homemarts.

Apart from the Used Textbooks Project, FairPrice also gives out more than half a million dollars worth of study grants each year to about 600 needy students from low income families.

About the Used Textbooks Project

NTUC FairPrice started the Used Textbooks Project in 1983, as part of its community service initiative. This evergreen project had a humble beginning, starting with a small scale of 33 FairPrice supermarkets collecting a few thousand books. Today, 77 FairPrice supermarkets island-wide serve as collection points for used textbooks donated by the public. These books are then sent to the distribution centers where student volunteers sort them according to academic levels and subjects.

Besides helping needy students, the Used Textbooks Project also helps to promote a greener Singapore through recycling and to encourage the value of thrift. Since 1983, the FairPrice Used Textbooks Project has helped more than 100,000 needy students save more than $6 million in textbook expenses.

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