Tom Holland who plays super-hero Spiderman in the upcoming Marvel movie Spiderman: Homecoming was in Singapore to promote the movie, which will release later this month.
A group of thirty lucky students from the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the movie's red carpet event and participate in a meet-and-greet session with the lead actor, Tom Holland, on 7 June at Art Science Museum.
“I am very happy to have the opportunity to attend this event. Spider-man inspires me to never give up despite the odds and challenges in life. When it comes to tackling my exams and the recent PSLE, like Spider-man, I try my best to push through the difficulties and overcome them,” said Ryan Ho Yan Xing, 13 years old, a DAS student and beneficiary.
DAS is a voluntary welfare organisation with over 240 full-time staff who provide a wide array of services for dyslexics in Singapore. DAS Educational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Specialist Psychologists provide support for over 3,500 preschool, primary and secondary school students in 13 DAS centres all over Singapore. DAS also teaches at five PAP Community Foundation Kindergartens. Besides the main literacy programme, DAS also offers support in Mathematics, Chinese, English Exam Skills and Speech and Drama Arts. Increasingly, DAS will provide support for dyslexics who also suffer from other specific learning differences (SpLD) such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia, dyscalculia and non-verbal learning differences.
Aged between 10 and 15, the students attend intervention programmes run by DAS.
DAS is a designated charity under Sands for Singapore, Marina Bay Sands’ corporate social responsibility programme, DAS has been working with the integrated resort since 2015. Marina Bay Sands contributed S$180,000 to fund DAS’ Specialised Educational Services (SES) programmes over a period of three years. The integrated resort further supports DAS’ initiatives through active volunteerism. In March this year, ten Marina Bay Sands volunteers spent a day as ushers and befrienders at a DAS learning centre, where they lent their support during the free dyslexia screening programmes for students at pre-school, primary and secondary levels.
George Tanasijevich, President and Chief Executive Officer at Marina Bay Sands, said, “Beyond providing monetary support to our designated charities such as DAS, we create inspirational opportunities for beneficiaries, leveraging on our facilities or our star-studded events. Today’s Spider-Man: Homecoming red carpet event is a great example. I hope this experience was meaningful for the students from DAS, and we look forward to welcoming them to Marina Bay Sands again in the future.”
“We are privileged to have the generous support of Marina Bay Sands for DAS students from lower income families over the past three years and for kindly inviting our students to meet Tom Holland in person. I believe his passion and love for acting would have inspired our students to pursue excellence in all that they do. Interestingly, Homecoming centres on Peter Parker’s struggles in high school due to his alter ego Spider-Man. It fittingly encourages our students to embrace their unique ways of learning due to dyslexia and create their own paths by focusing on their strengths,” said Lee Siang, Chief Executive Officer, Dyslexia Association of Singapore.
Backed by the integrated resort’s support, DAS will launch a new curriculum focused on solving problem sums under its SES Mathematics Programme for upper primary school students on 26 June 2017. The curriculum will help dyslexic learners who struggle to solve problem sums decode and gain meaning from the language of mathematics. Designed for students in Primary 5 and 6, the new curriculum takes a systematic approach in tackling common challenges, such as sequencing problems and multi-step calculations.