Tackling Poverty should be a top priority

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The majority of Australians surveyed agree, with 83% of respondents saying students affected by poverty should be given extra educational support to help them realise their potential. 82% of people said helping young people poverty should be a top priority for the country.

“We’re heartened that so many Australians are concerned about this critical issue. Together we can do something about it, one child at a time. Something as simple as providing financial support for families so they can afford textbooks, stationery and the right uniform, can have an enormous impact on a child’s engagement and sense of belonging at school.”

Sponsors needed to support children’s education following such a harrowing 12 months, first with the bushfires, and then the outbreak of COVID, The Smith Family’s acting CEO is appealing to Australians to give children experiencing poverty a hand up, so their school year gets off to the best possible start.

“We’re urgently calling on Australians to support children in need returning to school this year. We have to find 9,486 new sponsors to help children make the most of their education in this important year where they need to catch up after the disruption of 2020,” said Wendy Field.

With one in six Australian children and young people living in poverty today, The Smith Family is also working with major partners like Officeworks to ensure students in need receive the extra educational support required to make the most of their school year. In the last eight years, Officeworks has raised over $3m for students supported by The Smith Family

“Our work over many years reinforces the evidence that supporting a child from a young age, and throughout their schooling, is the most effective way to help them break the cycle of disadvantage. The programs we offer to support students’ education help develop their confidence, skills and aspirations to strive for a better future,” said Wendy Field.

“Now 57,000 students are supported through our evidence-based Learning for Life program, and alongside generous Australians and our partners like Officeworks, we’re determined to keep growing this support, now and for years to come.”

HOW SPONSORSHIP WORKS

The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program provides emotional, practical and financial support to children and young people and their families. Through the support of sponsors, children can be sponsored from their first year of primary school right through to completing tertiary study.

Sponsorship starts from $52 per month for a child in primary school – or $1.70 per day – and provides:

• financial assistance for education essentials, including uniforms, shoes, books and school supplies • tailored personal support for the duration of a child’s educational journey

• access to extra out-of-school learning and mentoring programs.

To sponsor an Australian child in need visit thesmithfamily.com.au/sponsor

BACK TO SCHOOL AND OFFICEWORKS PARTNERSHIP

Until 7 February, Australians can also donate in store at Officeworks or online to help change the lives of students who need it most. With the support of Officeworks, The Smith Family is empowering more young people to create better futures for themselves.