Singapore's only Frog Farm celebrates 32nd birthday with special-needs kids from Lighthouse School
31 October 2013
Jurong Frog Farm (JFF) hosted first-time visitors from Lighthouse School – a school providing special education to children with visual impairment, hearing impairment or autism – for its anniversary. This first and only frog farm in Singapore turned 32-years old on 29-October, and celebrated its birthday together with about 30 special-needs children on a sponsored tour.
These children, aged between 7 to 17 years old, were accompanied by their teachers on their learning journey to JFF. Teachers used various means, such as sign language for the hearing-impaired children, and guiding the visually-impaired children by hand to touch the frogs at the farm.
“We sponsored two-way transport and guided tour for these special kids to mark our anniversary, as part of our ongoing efforts towards building an inclusive society. Conducting a tour for children with mixed abilities is not without challenges, but I learnt more about accommodating differences. I'm pleasantly surprised that they are as eager to learn and enthusiastic to express themselves, just like the other children we've hosted,” says Ms Chelsea Wan, Director and second-generation owner of JFF.
The children were given a short introduction to the life-cycle of frogs, and told about physical differences between male and female frogs. Some courageous children even held the American bull-frogs in their hands, while some shied away. They then got to feed the frogs in the pens, and toured the farm together with their teachers.
Ms Wan treated the children to snacks after the guided tour. She elaborated further,“We hope special-needs kids can also be given equal opportunities like kids in mainstream schools in experiential learning. We aim to repeat a sponsorship like this next year. In general, we want to give more opportunities to people with special needs to integrate into the working world and community at large. With that purpose in mind, we are hiring a staff who is visually-impaired to work at our farm, and he will be starting work next week. ”
The teachers too were given fresh insights into the world of amphibians. “This is a refreshing break away from the routines at our school. The children need more outdoors hands-on experiences like this to bring to life what they've studied in books. Going out to public places also gives them opportunities to practice social skills such as exhibiting appropriate behaviour, being thankful to hosts, sharing food among friends, etc. We hope to make more tours like this possible with the support of our corporate partners like JFF.,” commented Mr Danesh Kandasamy, teacher for ICT (Info-Comms Technology) at Lighthouse School.
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About Jurong Frong Farm (JFF Pte. Ltd.)
Jurong Frog Farm (JFF) is the first and only frog farm in Singapore. JFF was founded by Mr Wan Bock Thiaw in 1981, and is now assisted by his youngest daughter, Chelsea, who started working full time at the farm since 2006. Among many other tasks, the father-and-daughter team has led the staff at JFF on R&D and marketing of the American Bullfrog’s oviduct, popularly known as Snow Jelly (Hashima). JFF also organises guided farm tours, sells fish, exotic meat, and JFF's own mechandise. JFF is located within the Kranji Countryside, and is a part of the Kranji Countryside Association. More information can be found at http://www.jurongfrogfarm.com.sg
About Lighthouse School
Lighthouse School is a Special School formerly known as Singapore School for the Visually Handicapped. It now provides special education to children with visual impairment and children with hearing impairment as well as children with autism.
In providing special education to visually-impaired and hearing-impaired children as well as children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Lighthouse School has four main educational programmes, namely:-
A Mainstream Curriculum Programme for the Visually-Impaired Children
A Mainstream Curriculum Programme for the Hearing-Impaired Children
The Special Programme
The ASD Programme
More information can be found at http://www.lighthouse.edu.sg/ .