This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
or visit thesmithfamily.com.au
NATIONA L REVIEW
Good news for a change.
Nothing inspires us more than success. Last year, your support helped touch the lives of 128,000 young Australians. The best part is, many of the kids you help grow up wanting to share their positive experience by helping others like them. Here are some Smith Family success stories you can feel a part of. Barry breaks a ten year drought.
“I grew up in a family of seven kids in Kwinana in WA. Both my mother and father had missed out on educational opportunities and were determined for me to be different. While primary school was okay, as an Aboriginal student, high school proved troublesome, because strong racism made it hard to concentrate on study. On the verge of giving up on education altogether in year nine, my teacher introduced me to a Smith Family Learning for Life worker. Her guidance helped me believe I had the ability to finish school. The confidence I gained through the program also helped me become a peer mentor and school counsellor in my final year. I’m proud to say I’m the first Aboriginal kid to graduate from Kwinana High in ten years.” older student over the phone. One family (who’d like to remain anonymous), were so keen for their daughter to take part in the program, they had a phone connected especially. Initially their daughter was nervous, but by the end of the first call she was swinging her legs off the side of a stool, smiling.
The upside – what your help has already achieved.
• 85% of kids believed our reading programs gave them more confidence with their school work. • 600 students and mentors participated in our online mentoring programs in 2008; a 50% increase on 2007. • In 2007, over 47% of our year 12 students progressed to tertiary studies (an increase from 21% in 2005 and 34% in 2006). • 1650 people took part in digital literacy courses in 2007/08. • Early childhood learning and parenting skills programs were established for parents and children in Tasmania for the first time.
“I’m proud to say I’m the first Aboriginal kid to graduate from Kwinana High in ten years.”
Barry has since become a member of the Youth Advisory Committee and Aboriginal Education Board in his area, giving his time generously to kids just like him. Currently working as a compliance analyst for the Department of Water in Perth, the next challenge is uni to study management.
“Now when the telephone rings, she races to answer it.”
“Now when the telephone rings, she races to answer it,” says the young girl’s mother, believing The Smith Family reading mentor has single handedly changed her daughter’s perspective on reading. “She now reads in class with great confidence and her self esteem is at an all time high.”
Young girl makes a call on better reading skills.
The Smith Family reading support program is designed to help younger kids improve their reading skills by reading to an
Please donate to The Smith Family Winter Appeal today. Complete the form enclosed, call 1800 024 069 or visit thesmithfamily.com.au
To donate to The Smith Family Winter Appeal, please complete the form enclosed, call 1800 024 069 or visit thesmithfamily.com.au
IT’S ALL YOU’VE BEEN READING ABOUT. IT’S ALL SHE’S EVER KNOWN.
While we can turn the page on the doom and gloom headlines, a generation of Aussie kids are experiencing a downturn they can’t ignore.
Seven year old Katie is missing another day of school. She’s not sick. It’s just that it’s freezing outside again and with very little household income, her parents can’t afford to buy her a school jumper. “ Just wear my old one,” her mum offers. Katie shakes her head. The last time she tried that the kids at school laughed, then asked if she was poor. If you had a choice between ridicule or freezing in the playground, you might want to miss school as well. For 680,000 Australian kids like Katie, the headlines we read every day – ‘financial hardship, recession and crisis’ – are the story of their lives. And as the economic downturn deepens, people who are already struggling are the first to suffer more.
need your continued generosity to help raise $4 million. As you know, an education is proven to be one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of disadvantage. At every life stage disadvantaged kids face barriers to stay engaged in education. The truth is, they need ongoing support. And it’s not just for uniforms or school books – even though they help a great deal. It’s your constant support that helps to keep these kids on track.
By the time these kids hit high school, they’ll have a very high chance of dropping out. In fact, 28% of Australian teenagers aged 15-19 will leave school with no transition into full time work, study or a combination of both2. Sadly, that’s almost a third of a generation with nothing to do. And no money to live on. It’s not hard to imagine where these kids will end up. We urgently need to keep these kids interested in education. Not so easy when 37% of low income households* do not have access to a computer at home3. And many kids will miss out on school camp each year. While their classmates are busy making lasting friendships, older students are often doing an extra shift to help pay their parents’ rent.
whatever their age. We know times are tough for everyone, but your generous donation can greatly affect the person a child grows up to be. No matter what sum you donate, it tells a child that someone else believes in their education. It’s a chance to change their story for good.
To read about the many ways you’ve already helped children change their story, please turn over.
1 in 7 Aussie kids face barriers to education.
• A lack of early childhood learning opportunities mean they start school behind. • Incomplete school uniform, books and bag make it hard to fit in. • No school excursions mean they’re always the one to miss out. • No home computer or internet access makes it difficult to keep up at school. • Older students have no time for study because they’re working to support their family.
ABS data available on request, Survey of Income and Housing 2005 – 2006 2 ABS 4102.0 – Australian Social Trends – Education and Training 2007 * Equivalised household income of less then $40,000. 3 ABS (2008) Household Use of Information Technology, Australia 2007-08. ABS ACT.
“At every life stage they (disadvantaged kids) face barriers to stay engaged in education.”
Take pre-school for instance. Your parents probably read you stories when you were little. And talked about the world around you, before you could even talk back. Many disadvantaged children grow up with only a few books and no reading culture at home. So they start school behind, making it tough to catch up. Even if they can master the academic side of things, they have to deal with other kids. And kids can be cruel. Without money for the complete uniform, bag and books, ‘the poor kid’ often becomes the focus of ridicule. It’s not about having the coolest sports shoes. It’s about actually having sports shoes in the first place.
“We’re receiving at least 150 calls a week from families in need. Many from areas we’ve never dealt with before.”
At The Smith Family, we’re receiving at least 150 calls a week from families in need. Many from areas we’ve never dealt with before. It’s hard to turn them away. Unfortunately, our help for them extends only as far as the support you can give. This winter we urgently
“Sadly, that’s almost a third of a generation with nothing to do. And no money to live on. It’s not hard to imagine where these kids will end up.”
Can you blame these kids for continually questioning their chance of success? Help us reach them before they give up altogether. Every initiative from The Smith Family aims to restore and retain a child’s sense of worth,
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.