Media release: $102,000 for children and families needing a hand

Back to School Program Geelong Addy April 13
Back to School Program feature in Geelong Addy on April 13, 2022

Students and families across the region who need help with the material costs of attending school will be provided with support through the Geelong Community Foundation’s partnership with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).

The FRRR Back to School Program has been delivered in the region by the Geelong Community Foundation for many years. The partnership with a range of Trusts and Foundations, including the Glover Family Trust, will, in 2022, deliver $102,000 worth of $50 Target vouchers to 33 primary schools and 13 secondary schools across the region.

Consultation with Wellbeing Coordinators, Teachers and Principals ensures the vouchers get to where they are needed most. It is the knowledge of family and individual student circumstances that guides the equitable distribution, although often the need far outweighs our ability to assist.

Secondary students living independently and grandparents identified as primary carers where financial challenges exist are often those who benefit most from the vouchers. The vouchers are used to purchase essential school items such as uniforms, clothing for school-based activities, shoes, socks, school bags and stationery. At some schools, the vouchers are also combined with other support packages to families in need.

Gail Rodgers, Chief Executive Officer of the Geelong Community Foundation: “I never underestimate the power of a $50 voucher. The feedback and stories we receive from the schools is sometimes heart breaking, but I know we are getting help to where it is needed most.”

Chiara Ercoli from Student Engagement and Wellbeing at Newcomb Secondary College: “The Geelong Community Foundation’s support allows some of our students to have improved opportunities to be engaged and have access to learning on the same level as their peers. Through the relationship with the Foundation, our Wellbeing team offers vouchers to students in need that allow them access to resources to be ready to learn. This year, a student with ADHD who was unable to get to the paediatrician due to a long and extensive waitlist was provided with noise-cancelling headphones through the Foundation. This has allowed the student to fully engage in classroom learning, without the distraction of the noise of the class.”