ARARAT - Education is as important to a child's life as food, shelter and a loving family.
Because not all children get the same chances in life, Barnardos Australia and OfficeMax have come together to provide more than $98,000 across 86 grants in Australia and New Zealand through Max e Grants, with St Mary's Primary School in Ararat to benefit.
Max e Grants enables education providers to nominate children in need of assistance, and are designed to help them get the most out of their education and a better chance at life through increased participation.
The recent allocation of Max e Grants will enable children who are financially disadvantaged at St Mary's School to receive support in the form of school fees, books, supplies and excursions to give them the best chance of succeeding at school.
"By supporting programs geared towards greater inclusion and participation, we're extending a helping hand to children who may not come into direct contact with us but could benefit from the services and support we provide," said Louise Voigt, Barnardos CEO.
The recently released Making A Difference report shed light on the lives of nearly 100 economically disadvantaged Australian children. It found that children deny their own needs in order to protect their parents from responsibility and stigma.
It also reported that young people from economically disadvantaged circumstances need to access the same services that their better-off counterparts use, because of the division that occurs when they are provided with goods and services targeted at those who are economically disadvantaged.
OfficeMax managing director, Charles Agee, said that sometimes it only takes something small to help a child feel included and unlock their true potential.
"OfficeMax is proud to make a difference in children's lives and relies on the time and effort of education providers and child carers who apply for Max e Grants on behalf of disadvantaged children to ensure the grants go to those most in need," Mr Agee said.
"It's about working together to reach children outside of our direct care to create a more inclusive environment where children can learn, grow and reach their full potential," Mrs Voigt said.