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Grants to help schools provide learning essentials

An award winning grant program is helping Australian schools to provide students with back to school essentials.

Variety WA has been recognised by Variety International with a Global Innovation Award for its successful EduKids Grants program.

One of 39 chapters in 11 countries, the humble West Australian “tent” is making a big impact in its ongoing work tackling disadvantage via schools.

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Variety’s EduKids Grants are an annual statewide education grant designed to offer practical assistance for Western Australian (WA) kids with the cost of back-to-school equipment.

Running for the past four years the successful program reaches some of WA’s most disadvantaged children in remote areas and it leverages the local school’s knowledge of which children are most in need, and this varies from region to region.   

Chief Executive Officer, Chris Chatterton accepted the award on behalf of the children’s charity: “I’m honoured to receive the prestigious Global Innovation Award on behalf of Variety WA. It is incredible that our little branch of Variety over here in Western Australia has been internationally recognised for some of the work we have been doing.

“In 2023, Variety WA supported 100 government primary schools and 60 government high schools or one fifth of public schools across the state through EduKids grants. Applicant schools could receive up to $1,500 per primary school and $2,500 per high school with the requirement to assist a minimum of ten students each with the costs of uniforms, school bags, textbooks, booklist items.

“We worked together with schools to deliver the program which ensures vulnerable children receive the support. In WA one in six children are experiencing disadvantage in some form and education is a key factor in helping to break people out of disadvantage. It’s a complex issue that needs ongoing support.

“We can reach even more children this year and we would like to be able to offer this grant to every public school in the state which would cost about $1.3 million each year.”

Ballajura Community College was a grant recipient | Image courtesy of variety

One of the high schools to receive an EduKids Grant was Ballajura Community College, Head of Student Services, Ray Roberts said the grant helped the school put funds into areas that would be of most benefit to students in need such as canteen vouchers, uniforms, school bags and purchasing toasters for our Breakfast Club:

“Teachers work with children every day and it is clear which kids need a bit of extra support.

“Times are tough for families across WA at the moment so being able to access and distribute items via a grant like EduKids helps us tackle some of the effects of disadvantage that we are picking up,” he said.

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