A community activity centre for children
Writer: Brenda Ch'ng
Published: Fri, 12 Apr 2013
KLANG: With the lack of public libraries and amenities to cater to the community, Centro Mall has embarked on a mission to provide a conducive environment for learning and studying.
As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project, Kids Inc was launched on March 23 after six months of planning and RM500,000 worth of renovations.
Teo and Miranda.
“There are 40 schools here within a five to 10 kilometre radius and we see a need to provide the community with a place where they can study and learn for free,” said Centro Properties Group Sdn Bhd managing director Teo Chui Ping.
She explained that based on a recent survey, the majority of the population here are made up of young families with children and the demand for a community library and children activity centre is high.
Kids Inc, which is located on the first floor of Centro Mall, is made up of six activity rooms, each measuring between 707 sq ft and 1,237 sq ft.
Two rooms, the community library and toddler playroom, are open to the public while the other rooms will be leased out to house a ballet studio, art room and music centre.
“Our main aim is to actually encourage reading among the community, as I think Malaysia falls below the reading average level. We just want to provide them with a space to do so,” she said.
With the availability of this centre seven days a week, both children and even university students can benefit from the free wifi, free library books and space to work and read.
Teo said the idea of setting up Kids Inc came about when she saw youths sitting along the corridors of Centro Mall with their laptops trying to work.
She was told that they couldn’t find a proper place or library to do their work.
Following this, the Centro Mall Facebook page and website were further filled with requests from the community, and so Kids Inc was formed.
Currently, the community library has about 1,000 donated books ranging from children storybooks to novels, encyclopedias and reference books to magazines and literature classics.
The books are a mixture of the Malay, Chinese and English languages to cater to people from all walks of life.
“One thousand books is not a lot but it’s a start. We are looking for at least 5,000 to 10,000 books to make the library more equipped,” she said.
Kids Inc is still looking for more book donations from the public and everyone is welcome to donate by dropping them at the mall.
Centro Properties Group Sdn Bhd general manager Jerry Miranda said the team is brainstorming new ideas to create more activities for the centre.
Among them are clay art workshops, balloon sculpture workshops, board game competitions and a cookout competition which will involve the child, parent and grandparent, in a bid to encourage family bonding.
“We also hope to get parent groups to volunteer their time to conduct reading sessions for the children to make reading more interesting for them,” he said.
He explained that Kids Inc is the first education centre of its kind in Klang and he hopes more people will come to know of this facility and make full use of it.
Meanwhile, Kids Inc is also offering dance, music and art classes.
Children are taught various activities in a safe environment.
“We want to have an educational centre which offers something other than the normal tuition centres, like the arts.
“Parents can now enrol their children in either the dance, music or arts classes, and rest assured, their child is in a safe environment which is monitored 24/7,” he said.
Kids Inc is fitted with closed circuit television (CCTV), security guards and a lock gate system to ensure no stranger walks in and out of the centre.
Because the centre is located on the right hand corner of Centro Mall, the management allocated the side staircase specially for children to be dropped off and picked up without having to walk through the mall.
“The will be buzzed in by the receptionist and they just have to walk up a flight of stairs and enter the centre via the back door entrance. It’s safe so parents do not have to worry,” he said.
If the demand is overwhelming, Centro Mall plans to expand Kids Inc, especially the community library, to cater to everyone.
They are even considering equipping the centre with disabled- friendly learning material in future for the less-fortunate.
For book donations, visit Customer Service at the counter on level 2, opening hours are 10am to 10pm daily.
Kids Inc is opened Monday to Friday from 1pm to 5pm and weekends from noon to 6pm.
Centro Mall is located at 8, Jalan Batu Tiga Lama, 41300 Klang.
For more information, call 03-33433011, visit www.centro.com.my or email email@example.com.