9 January 2019

Appeal to help thousands of ACT children living in poverty start the school year

| Glynis Quinlan
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GIVIT says that education is the key to breaking out of a cycle of disadvantage.

An appeal has been launched to help provide thousands of ACT children living in poverty with the necessities for starting the new school year.

Online charity GIVIT, which partners with 200 ACT charities, has launched the appeal which aims to provide vulnerable Canberra children with book packs and stationery items for the new school year, as well as funds for school uniforms, haircuts and the like.

GIVIT’s ACT manager Caroline Odgers said the ‘Back to School’ campaign was geared towards ensuring that all ACT children can walk into their new classrooms for 2019 feeling confident to tackle any challenge.

“Almost 9,000 children are living in poverty in the ACT and we know education is the key to breaking out of a cycle of disadvantage and putting a child on a path to a brighter future,’’ said Ms Odgers.

“Poverty affects every aspect of a child’s life, particularly their education. It’s so tough for a child to return to school when their shoes are falling apart and they don’t own a pencil case.’’

Ms Odgers said that students in some of the most vulnerable families in the ACT need book and stationery items such as new pens, felt pens, glue sticks, rulers, calculators and exercise books.

“Many ACT families are still recovering from the added financial pressure of Christmas when they need to find often hundreds of dollars to get kids ready for school,’’ Ms Odgers said.

GIVIT has partnered with the ACT Government and local community partners to run the appeal. The not-for-profit organisation matches requests from charities with generous donors.

Canberrans can make a financial donation or purchase new items from the book lists for ACT primary and high school students on the GIVIT website at givit.org.au/items-needed (search “school”). It is suggested that $50 is needed for a primary school pack or $75 for a high school pack.

Donors can then drop items at collection points located at UnitingCare Kippax, St Vincent de Paul Deakin, Community Services Directorate (Canberra City) and the Child and Family Centres (located at Gungahlin, West Belconnen and Tuggeranong). The appeal closes on Friday, January 25.

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