Ballajura students and staff celebrate their grant with Variety WA.

Variety grant helps Ballajura students

The grant has helped underprivileged kids get the food, clothes, and school equipment they need to learn.
June 20, 2024
Jacki Elezovich

BALLAJURA Community College has received an EduKids grant from Variety WA to help with back-to-school equipment costs for its students.

Head of student services Ray Roberts said the grant allowed the college to help its most vulnerable students more effectively, putting money where it matters most.

He said teachers were often adept at picking out which of their students needed a little extra help, an essential step in figuring out how to direct EduKids funding within the school.

The grant has funded canteen vouchers, uniforms, school bags and equipment for the college’s ‘breakfast club’, helping underprivileged students start the school year and each school day with full bellies, good mindsets, and all the right equipment.

“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,” Mr Roberts said.

Variety WA chief executive officer Chris Chatterton said EduKids grants were designed to provide practical support for WA kids to allow them to purchase necessary back-to-school equipment with funds distributed through their school.

State schools can apply for up to $2500 in grant funding, with the requirement to help at least 10 students with costs associated with heading back to school.

The grant program has been running since 2020, and Mr Chatterton said it has reached some of WA’s most disadvantaged kids and helped set them on the path for success at school by providing access to basic back-to-school needs.

This year, Variety WA received a ‘global innovation award’ for the EduKids program, recognised out of 39 Variety branches around the world.

Mr Chatterton said the award would help the program expand even further, and push the organisation towards their goal of offering an EduKids grant to every public school in the state, which would cost an estimated $1.3 million.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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