The worlds of professional wrestling and Singaporean childhood literacy found a common page when 31 children from the StarHub-Central Singapore Nurture Programme were treated to an exclusive session with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) legend and literacy ambassador Booker T who was in Singapore to promote WWE, which airs on SuperSports (StarHub TV Channel 202).
Booker T entered the SMU classroom to excited cheers from children, immediately filling the room with the same presence that made him a formidable opponent in the wrestling ring. He showed his gentler side when he shared some of his life experiences: being orphaned at 14, growing up as a gangster and struggling to improve his and his son’s lives as a single father. He then read excerpts from Jacqueline Wilson’s book “Buried Alive” on bullying and friendship, before engaging the children on the importance of reading.
Despite its fame for wrestling, WWE is actually a strong advocate of childhood literacy through their WrestleMania Reading Challenge and SummerSlam Reading Jam efforts.“Reading and education are such important building blocks in life. Without a good academic base or natural curiosity inspired by reading, it can be easy to turn to violence to try and get what you want in life, or to give up and just let others take advantage of you.”
“StarHub believes in the importance of education to help empower the less privileged, as evidenced by our title sponsorship of the StarHub Central Singapore Nurture Programme,” said Ms Jeannie Ong, Chief Marketing Officer, StarHub. “Given WWE’s literacy advocacy, we saw an exciting opportunity for an outstanding role model such as Booker T to address this issue with the children.
The StarHub-Central Singapore Nurture Programme—an initiative by Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC)—provides children aged seven to 12 from low income families with opportunities to improve their English language skills and increase their self-confidence. Volunteers carry out interactive activities like story-telling, reading, music and drama, to help children build up their linguistic proficiency and confidence. To date, over 650 children have benefited from the Nurture Programme, of which StarHub is the title sponsor.