Heartland Poet is an outreach programme to secondary schools with the mission to enhance the appreciation of mother tongue language (Malay language) through innovative and creative methods. It is in tune with the need for contemporary approaches in the teaching and learning of mother tongue in schools.
Since June 2009, 521 students and 40 facilitators mainly trainee teachers have benefited from the Heartland Poet programme. Heartland Poet is a first ever initiative in Singapore and the region. Its objectives are; to create awareness of poetry among students, to increase the number of new writers and literary works, to nurture interest in poetry writing and recitation, to contribute to the flowering of national literature, and to contribute to developmental pedagogy.
There are 3 main components in this programme: appreciation of poetry, application of music in poetry, and application of graffiti art in 2 poetry. Basically, in this programme students are not only introduced to the art of poetry writing but unconventional methods are used so as to further nurture and cultivate their passion and interest in poetry writing. In all 33 students’ works of poetry and illustrations were selected for publication in a bilingual book entitled “GEN Z POET”. Prizes were also given out to 6 outstanding students in poetry and illustration category as well as 8 merit awards.