“We hope that this little corner will become a place of lifelong learning and seniors who love books will come together!” Tristan Gwee, Community Support Manager, PCS.
Presbyterian Community Services (PCS) is a voluntary welfare organisation that has been dedicated to reaching out to the community to touch and transform lives for over 40 years. One of its latest projects is the Hannah Seniors Activity Centre (HSAC) located at Block 21, Toh Yi Drive. Opened in August, its mission, in line with the PCS vision, Inspiring Tomorrows’ Community Today, is to reach out in partnership with the community to engage and support senior residents to ‘age-in-place’ and remain active for as long as possible.
If one considers that reading books is a popular way of relaxing and escaping stressful thoughts, as well as passing the time, HSAC is on the right track. With research also suggesting that reading can preserve the structural integrity in the brain as people age and, more recently, Yale University researchers’ findings that it may also have the added benefit of helping us live longer, there is further impetus to promote reading to our seniors.
In seeking suitable services and activities to engage the senior community, PCS decided to include a library corner and approached Media Ministry (MM) of Cru Singapore to help in selecting and acquiring the initial stock of around 200 titles.
Given the demographics of the community HSAC is serving, topics covered in the selection process ranged from parenting of adult children, e.g. “How to really love your Adult child”; nutrition, diet and exercise, e.g. “Exercises for Heart Health” too relationships, e.g. “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”; hobbies, home and travel, e.g. “65 Things to Do When You Retire”; and fiction, e.g. “True Stories from a Babyboomer”. The collection also includes a number of devotional and spiritually uplifting titles such as “The Love as a Way of Life Devotional” and “My Mom Has Alzheimer’s: Inspiration and Help for Caregivers”. Apart from a few family games for the residents to enjoy, e.g. “Classic Family Feud”, the titles comprise a mix of books, audio books and DVDs.
In addition to the provision of the collection, MM is hoping to be able to provide reading engagement talks with the residents to promote and encourage use of the library corner.
MM views the partnership with PCS as an invaluable opportunity to reach the broader public. With resources selected to inspire, encourage and empower the seniors being served, we are confident that they will serve to both compliment and enhance the endeavours of PCS to bless the Toh Yi Drive community.
Fundamentally, we see the ‘ministry’ of MM as an enabler and promoter of “Biblio-Shepherding – Reading as Ministry”. Our prayer and hope is that each title that leaves our showrooms will, effectively, result in a ‘divine appointment’ between a book and its reader – a channel that God can use to bless a servant and those whom he or she serves.
“We read to know we are not alone.” C. S. Lewis