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05 November 2012

NTUC FairPrice Annual Share-A-Textbook Project Celebrates 30 Years of Sharing

-30 year heritage programme has seen annual textbooks donated increased by 10-folds

-Public has donated over 2.4 million textbooks - enough books to encircle Singapore over 3.5 times

Singapore, 5 November 2012 - NTUC FairPrice today calls for members of the public to recycle and donate school textbooks as the FairPrice Share-A-Textbook project marks its 30th year. When the project first started, about 30,000 books were collected in a year. This year, FairPrice plans to collect 350,000 textbooks - over 10 times more - in order to meet the needs of the project today. Over the years, the project has collected over 2.4 million textbooks - enough to encircle Singapore's coastline over 3.5 times if the books were laid end to end - and helped over 166,000 students save on textbook expenses. The public can donate their textbooks at all FairPrice supermarkets, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra outlets, from today until 30 November 2012.

Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO (Singapore), NTUC FairPrice, said, "We have come a long way over 30 years. Since 1983, we have progressively increased the target for the number of books collected each year to meet the growing demand for used textbooks. This year, we have set the target even higher at 350,000 books so as to benefit even more students. We are also very pleased that the number of volunteers coming forward to help has also increased over the years. The growth of this project shows how it continues to be relevant today. Indeed, we could not have come so far without the support of the public and the volunteers alike. We hope the community will continue to participate in this meaningful project and do their part for the community."

Last year, some 320,000 used textbooks were collected which benefitted about 15,900 students. 

FairPrice also announced that it is giving away $650,000 worth of study grants to about 700 needy students in primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions. These recipients are children of lower-income FairPrice members and FairPrice employees. The grants range from $200 for primary students to $3000 for tertiary students.

Greater Community Involvement 

This year FairPrice has partnered 109 organisations that will assist in logistics, promotional efforts, mass community collection, sorting and distribution. This is a 10-fold increase in the number of Supporting Partners compared to the previous year of 10 partners. Changkat Changi Secondary School, Yuan Ching Secondary School and Yio Chu Kang Secondary school are the Community Partners in this year's project where their locations will serve as sorting centres and distribution points. Staff and students will assist in the collection, sorting and distribution of textbooks. The public distribution day will take place on 9 December 2012 at these three schools. 

Over 650 student volunteers and volunteers from the Supporting and Community Partners will be participating in this initiative this year.

Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, who officiated the launch earlier today said, "This project reflects the community spirit we have in Singapore. The giving of books and the contributions by volunteers demonstrate the good we can do when we all come together as one community. I look forward to more of such ground-up efforts from various organisations and individuals."

In addition, to increase further awareness among customers, FairPrice will be introducing a series of six roadshows at the FairPrice Xtra stores at nex (17 to 18 November), Jurong Point (24 to 25 November) and Changi Business Park (1 to 2 December). For every 10 books donated at these roadshows, customers will have a chance to win memorabilia such as bookmarks and reusable bags. 

Facebook users can also learn more about the 30-year history of FairPrice's Share-A-Textbook project or share their own stories related to the project through the FairPrice Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thatsmyfairprice).

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