Happy New Year!
After a short break over the Festive Season our team is straight back into it, kicking off our year with Lift Off Education Scholarship interviews for our 2023 cohort.
Lift Off aims to help local young people overcome financial and other barriers to higher education, empowering them to achieve their dreams. We received a great response to this annual Scholarship program that saw applications close just prior to Christmas. Applications have been short listed by an independent committee and interviews were conducted this past week. We look forward to notifying successful applicants and supporting their education goals.
We continue to talk to possible partners for our highly successful Oral Language Intervention program (OLI). OLI is an evidence-based project providing intensive intervention from the foundation years’ to improve student language and literacy. It is now being delivered in all public Primary Schools and two kindergartens in Mooroopna. Evaluation to date showed Foundation students who were receiving OLI support were generally outscoring older counterparts who had not received OLI support in their Foundation year, in oral language metric. Achieving these great results, it is important that we keep this program going to enable it to reach its full potential. More on OLI can be found on the Major Projects page.
The last part of 2022 was spent working with our community on flood recovery efforts. Whilst this work continues, with the support of those who donated to our Greater Shepparton Community Flood Recovery Campaign, much has been achieved to date. Around $70,000 of the funds raised has already filtered through to support various organisations, projects, and individuals as they begin the long recovery process. Shepparton Family and Financial Services, Point of Difference Studio’s, Giz a Break and OzChild all received funds to continue their valuable work supporting those impacted by the floods. The difference that your donation provided to each of these organisations and the local people they support can be found on the Major Projects page on our website.
Our GIVIT Together National Christmas campaign, designed to support flood impacted families with vouchers, received wonderful support and as a result we were able to provide over 300 fuel, grocery, and toy vouchers to 146 children, across 53 families and five schools.
In order to further support the community response, our Flood Recovery Grant Round is now open and we encourage organisations that operate in the flood recovery space, or have a project in mind, to please get in touch to discuss how we might be able to assist. For more information, guidelines can be found on the 'grants' page of our website. Applications close Friday, January 27, 2023.
This month we are launching a new project that is also a response to our flood recovery efforts. Our ‘mosquito borne disease intervention prevention’ program that is supported by FRRR, Wise Well Women and Greater Shepparton City Council will see every child attending kindergarten in 2023 having access to a free roll on insect repellent, and in-language information about prevention to mitigate the risks of children contracting mosquito borne disease. Providing not only repellent, but also the information in various languages ensures more in our community have equal opportunity to keep informed and safe from mosquito borne diseases.
Those from our Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) communities, who also face language and cultural barriers may have not previously had access to this prevention information like their English-speaking counterparts so it important this education extends to those cohorts on our community. More information on this will be available on our website from February.