Five students have enriched their cultural lives and widened their artistic horizons, thanks to a scheme organised by the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society. Those taking part are: Linda Sze Heung-ling, 17, a seventh-former at Queen Elizabeth School; Ada Ho Cheuk- lam, 18, seventh-former at St Francis Canossian College; Jenny Wong Wai-ping, 18, and Jennifer Man Sui-fong, 18, both seventh-formers at Diocesan Girls' School; and Clive Chan Ching, 19, a sixth- former at YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College. They all joined the Young Friends Scheme (YFS) of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society and were nominated as student leaders to promote performing arts inside and outside their schools by organising seminars, exhibitions and producing newsletters. Heung-ling, a school choir member, said there was inadequate arts education in schools and that students received limited exposure to the performing arts in Hong Kong. 'We've two or three lessons on arts in a cycle; it's very difficult for us to have a basic understanding of arts appreciation,' she said. Heung-ling, who chairs a music club, said she would try her best to send the artistic message throughout her school. Cheuk-lam, who plays the erhu - a two-stringed bowed instrument - said the arts were a catalyst to help her release study pressures. Wai-ping and Sui-fong said their school had been involved in the scheme for a year and it kept pace with other schools by recruiting more members. They are no strangers to arts appreciation. Wai-ping plays piano and Sui-fong is a chorister. 'When I listen to classical music or play the instrument, pressure from studying is washed away,' Wai-ping said. YFS is designed to help local secondary school students cultivate an interest in the arts through a range of activities. YFS programme committee chairman Nicholas James said more than 25,000 members had been introduced to the arts and benefited from the many workshops, introductory talks and competitions. He said the student ticket scheme had attracted a new generation of young audiences and developed in them a habit of attending Hong Kong Arts Festival performances. Introductory courses provided students in participating schools with a basic understanding of the performing arts and methods of arts appreciation. Under the sponsorship of the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund and co-organised by the Education Department, YFS has attracted more than 4,000 students from about 70 SAR schools over the past 12 months. For more details, call the hotline on 2824-2203. All secondary schools are welcome to participate.