Conferences & Workshops

Parents Forum

Exploration of Books and Media for Early Literacy

Date: 31 May 2015 (Sunday)
For: Parents, librarians, principals and primary, preschool & kindergarten teachers
Pricing: Full-day: S$ 80 / Individual Sessions: S$ 20 each. Registration details
Tickets: Full-day Pass / Individual sessions / Teachers Congress (includes Parents Forum) / Full Festival Pass
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The AFCC Parents Forum offers parents, teachers, and other related professionals the opportunity to get support, information, and advice on nurturing early learning and bilingualism at home. 

Delegates from Teachers Congress can also attend the sessions for Parents Forum.

Illustrated by Cai Gao, China

9:00am – 10:00am
[Keynote] Power Parenting for Learning

Dilip Mukerjea (Author, Owner & Managing Director of Braindancing International & Buzan Centre)

Power Parenting equips parents to empower their children to succeed, and creates harmonious synergies within families confronting a complex and volatile future.

Building Young Writers

Elly Tandiono (Director, Kidpublish ) Jessica Sutandar (Author) Indra Ang (Senior Manager, Marketing, Marshall Cavendish Education)

Many children feel that writing is painful. However, as Elly Tandiono will share, programmes like Kidpublish enable children to be authors at such a young age. Also in this session, Indra Ang tells you about the Budding Writers Project has been in the running for 13 years and serves as a platform to nurture young writers. This session reveals how such campaigns enrich the lives of young writers and spur them to become accomplished writers.

Nurturing Children’s Interest in Reading using Dual Language Storybooks

Mukhlis Abu Bakar (Associate Professor )

How are storybooks with texts in two languages useful to children’s biliteracy development? Find out more about Dr Mukhlis' experiences working with mothers who read these storybooks with their 6-year old children.

9.00am - 10.30am [1.5 hours]
A Musical Learning Journey with Children’s Literature

Lavina Chong (Educator)

Music and Language are inextricable. This introductory session aims to pair both the creative arts (mainly music and movement) with children’s literature. It is the musical qualities found in language that will appeal to the emotions, thus inviting the brain to recall its content. With this purposeful focus, then, music and movement can be used to reinforce and internalize the language content found in children’s literature. Participants will have opportunities to unwrap and explore children’s literature through creative music and movement activities. 

10:30am – 11:30am
Making Sense out of Nonsense Literature for Young People

Michael Heyman (Professor of Nonsense, Berklee College of Music)

What is ‘Nonsense Literature’ and what possible value could it have? This lecture will introduce the global genre of literary nonsense, its history of hilarious subversion, and its pedagogical underpinnings, as it remains a popular genre for children.

Hearing from the Dads

Kelvin Ang (Parent Blogger, Mark Wilkinson (Lecturer, English Language & Literature, National Institute of Education)

This session opens our eyes to the importance of building our children’s library and encouraging reading routines at home. With the proliferation of technology in our daily lives, children are coming into contact with computers and mobile devices at a far younger age than parents can ever imagine. Parent blogger, Kelvin Ang, discusses the impact of documenting children’s lives on social media, while Mark Wilkinson, father and professor, shares about his son’s English-based literary journey in a foreign country. 

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Picture Books and Activities for After Reading

George Jacobs (Lecturer, James Cook University Singapore) Ying Chang Compestine (Author )

How can you fully utilise a book? Join this session as Ying Chang Compestine talks about how to use picture books and media to bexcite young readers to read, while George Jacobs discusses a range of collaborative after-reading activities which deploy students’ thinking skills.

Reading Singapore Children’s Books at Home: What it Means to your Kids

Sandra Williams (Senior Lecturer in Education (Primary English), University of Brighton)

English and Drama teacher and expert in children's literature, Sandra Williams, discusses why it is important for your children to see themselves in books through local children's and YA literature. 

Code-switching and Language Development: Exploring Bi-literacy in Books

Yow Wei Quin (Assistant Professor, Singapore University of Technology & Design)

Code-switching is the alternation of two or more languages within a single conversation. This session will include some of the latest findings with regards to code-switching in bilingual children on spoken language, as well as the use of two languages in children’s literature.

Reading Magic: How to Nurture a Love of Reading in Our Children

Maya Thiagarajan (Teacher, Author)

In this session, Maya Thiagarajan will present research on the benefits of reading for pleasure and examine the reasons why so many children do not read for their own enjoyment. She will then offer parents and educators concrete and usable strategies to create a culture of reading and to foster a deep love of reading amongst children. These strategies are applicable to children of all ages.

1:45pm – 2:45pm
[Lunchtime Talk] Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature

Myra Garces-Bacsal (Educator, Reviewer, Blogger) Nithya Rajamohan (Teachers Congress Programme Committee Member)

Join Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal and Nithya Rajamohan at this special lunchtime talk, as they discuss socially inclusive books which tackle difficult topics, bringing to focus the presence of ‘the others’ in society and the hope that exposure to such picture books will assist in developing pro-social behaviour among children.

3.00pm – 4:00pm
Art Therapy for Children

Joanna Tan (Senior Art Psychotherapist, Heartspace)

Art and play therapy can be used to assist children who are going through a difficult time. Joanna Tan lets you in on her discoveries of the value of mark making with children with emotional, developmental and behavioural problems.

Creating a Space for Learning at Home

Lee Seow Ser (Writer, Editor and Parent )

Learning can take place within the family space and at a comfortable and consistent pace, whilst tapping on the child’s potential to ace in studies. Lee Seow Ser shares “feel-good”, “old-school”, inexpensive and accessible ways of nurturing the learning spirit whilst boosting family bonds at home.

Making Math and Reading Fun for Children

Stanley Han (CEO and Co-Founder, KooBits) Lim Sieu Pin (Librarian, National Library Board)

Making math fun takes the bore out of the subject for children. Join Stanley Han as he gives you tips of how you can help your children even enjoy learning math! Also in this session, librarian Lim Sieu Pin talks about the lifelong benefits that reading brings. Find out about the many library resources and reading activities you can enjoy with your children to make reading a fun-filled time of family bonding.

4:30pm – 5:30pm/6:00pm
Don’t Leave the Boys Behind: Motivating Boys to Read

George Jacobs (Lecturer, James Cook University Singapore) Raymond Ang (Social Work Coordinator) Heng Huey Bin (Senior Librarian, National Library Board)

Reading is an important skill in school and elsewhere in life. Evidence suggests that boys read less than girls. This session explores reasons for this reading gap between boys and girls and ideas for motivating boys to read more.

Dream Bearers: Inspiring Children to Achieve

Titus Yong (Director, Ingenio) Aeron Young (Co-Founder,

Father-and-son team, Titus and Aeron, tell their story which conveys the real-life dreams of hundreds of children and their gruelling adventures across Asia, Oceania and Africa. These are interwoven with gripping narratives of historical heroes, inspiring fictional characters and living exemplars. They tell of a novel concept of fostering creativity and grit in children through co-creation.


The festival organisers reserve the right to change speakers, events, session times, dates, and/or other details when necessary.