Greater Charitable Foundation announces partnership with The Smith Family - Education Matters Magazine
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Greater Charitable Foundation announces partnership with The Smith Family

The Greater Charitable Foundation has launched a new partnership with national children’s education charity The Smith Family to support more students on the organisation’s Learning for Life (LFL) and Digital Learning Essentials programs.

Under the partnership, Greater Charitable Foundation will contribute funds for the essentials of learning, including uniforms, books and shoes, while providing financial support for 100 new students on the LFL program.

“When children don’t have the basics they need for their education, they risk falling behind their peers and disengaging with school,” Greater Charitable Foundation CEO Anne Long said.

Additionally, 17 students will be supported with access to a laptop, reliable home internet access, and ongoing technical support through The Smith Family’s Digital Learning Essentials program.

With one in six Australian children still living in poverty, Long said too many young people are at risk of missing out on the essentials for school.

The Smith Family’s LFL program provides emotional, practical and financial support to help disadvantaged children and young people with their education.

“All families on the LFL program will be eligible for support which will be provided as needed. For example, if they already have a device but need internet access or skills training, they will be provided with that,” The Smith Family partnership manager Effe Sandas said.

The foundation hopes to level the playing field for students experiencing disadvantage by giving them the digital tools they need to stay engaged and keep up with their classmates.

“A laptop, reliable internet access and technical support and skills are now a vital part of all student’s education, but affordability continues to be a major stumbling block for families when it comes to being digitally included in Australia,” Long said.

For tertiary scholarship student, Darci Fish, the impact of sponsorship through The Smith Family has been life changing.

A proud Kamilaroi woman, Darci is enrolled in her first year of a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree at The University of Newcastle. Darci was first brought onto the LFL program in 2014 at the age of 11. Now 19, she plans to follow a career in law where she wants to be an advocate for other indigenous Australians and those living with a disability.

Darci said sponsorship had changed the trajectory of her life, opening doors to new opportunities she wouldn’t have had without the support of her LFL sponsor.

“Sponsorship has been absolutely critical for my education; without the support of my sponsor I don’t think I would be where I am,” she said.

As a tertiary scholarship recipient, Darci receives financial support from The Smith Family to help pay for university expenses, such as a laptop. And while she has everything she needs to help her excel in her chosen degree, she concedes without access to a digital device and support, study would be next to impossible.

While digital inclusion for most Australians has improved since 2021, the latest Australian Digital Inclusion Index data, released in July, shows a growing divide between the country’s highest and lowest income households.

For more information or to donate to The Smith Family, visit www.thesmithfamily.com.au.

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