The Smith Family Winter Appeal aims to make life better for disadvantaged school children

The Smith Family Winter Appeal aims to make life better for disadvantaged school children

A CHARITY operating in Mirrabooka has launched a campaign to raise $3.65 million for learning support programs for disadvantaged children.

The Smith Family’s annual winter appeal aims to reach its target by June 30 and will use the money to deliver a peer reading program and after school learning clubs in terms three and four.

Recent research on 34,000 students who participated in the Learning for Life program revealed 40 per cent of students and 50 per cent of carers had a health issue or disability.

It also said one in five students attended four or more schools and more than 70 per cent of students have a parent not in paid employment.

In Mirrabooka, the charity sponsored 550 students through Learning for Life financial sponsorships, worked with 13 partner schools and eight after school learning clubs.

Early childhood literacy and numeracy programs were also taught in Mirrabooka.

WA general manager Lorna Woodley said there were more than 9000 disadvantaged children in Australia experienced difficulties at home such as financial struggles, illness, disability and unemployment within their families.

“Without the ongoing generosity of the community, these young people will miss out on valuable out-of-school learning support that could mean the difference between them staying engaged at school, or falling further behind,” Mrs Woodley said.

Mrs Woodley said an educational disadvantage in childhood could continue beyond schooling years.

“Research shows that a disadvantaged child is more likely to experience financial hardship as an adult,” she said.

“Completing Year 12, or its equivalent, increases the likelihood that these young people will move into further study or employment, and create a better future for themselves.

“By supporting the education of disadvantaged children, we can all play a part in ending poverty, one student at a time.”

To donate to The Smith Family’s Winter Appeal phone 1800 024 069, or visit The Smith Family.