vouchers give back-to-school
boost to the disadvantged
By Meg Rayner (Courtesy the Courier)
A SHINY pair of new school shoes is a given for most children returning to school next week.
But unfortunately, some have to make do with second-hand, ill-fitting pairs from the op-shop.
To help, The Ballarat Foundation is working in partnership with local schools through their annual Back to School vouchers program.
Valued at $50 each, the target vouchers are distributed to 66 schools across the region, with the schools awarding the vouchers to families they feel are most in need.
This year 790 vouchers will be handed out, at a total cost of almost $40,000.
This year a large portion of the money came from the Rotary Club of Ballarat through Springfest Events.
Yuille Park P-8 Community College principal Clete Paige said it gave students and families a sense of responsibility over how they spent the money.
“We have the parents coming back with the receipts on what they’ve bought for the kids and they take pride in that,” he said.
The Ballarat Foundation chief executive Noel Trengove said after the enormous cost of Christmas, many families found it difficult to make ends meet.
“People can use them for things that will help the kids, so typically we’re looking at uniform items such as shorts, T-shirts, and shoes, which is probably the biggest thing people use it for,” he said.
“We’ve had examples where kids have never had a new pair of shoes.”