SINGAPORE: Gardens by the Bay has launched its inaugural education-focused fund, in an effort towards promoting education and fostering a love for nature among Singapore’s youth.

The Gardens Learning Fund, backed by a generous $750,000 personal donation from businessman Tan Aik Hock, aims to support children aged four to eight from low-income families in improving their language and reading skills while nurturing an appreciation for nature and sustainability.

The initiative, set to benefit over 10,000 children and parents over the next three years, is part of Gardens by the Bay’s commitment to being a ‘people’s garden.’

Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh told The Straits Times, “Our goal is to spark curiosity and ignite an interest in the natural world from the early formative years.”

The fund’s primary focus is providing equal educational opportunities to children from low-income families, helping bridge the gap in language and literacy skills.

The educational activities will be held every weekend at the Garden Learning Hub. KidStart Singapore, a non-profit organization, will be actively involved in planning and executing diverse educational activities.

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The Gardens Learning Fund’s establishment was made possible through the generous contribution of 54-year-old Mr Tan, an executive consultant of the Singapore Lam Ann Association.

Reflecting on his upbringing in a kampung in Ang Mo Kio, Tan highlighted the challenges he faced when starting school without attending kindergarten. “I wanted to give these children from low-income families a leg-up so that they can start out school life on an equal footing with their peers who are better off,” he told the national broadsheet.

The fund represents an initiative to leave a lasting legacy for Singapore’s future by investing in the education of its children. With the ambitious goal of making nature and sustainability-based educational activities accessible to all children, regardless of their background, Gardens by the Bay and its supporters, including Mr Tan, are taking a significant step toward creating a more inclusive and knowledge-rich society.