In 2013, we had the opportunity to re-negotiate part of the grant, OtK was receiving from DEEWR for the holiday program, to be able to support a fantastic initiative started by the Kowanyama State School (Principal Ross Mc Cutcheon).
Since 2013 the After School Tuition Centre has been open one to two afternoons per week where children can attend after school, receive a nutritious snack and receive tuition and assistance with homework, literacy and numeracy. Parents are also welcome to attend and can also learn as well as supporting their child’s learning. This is much needed in Kowanyama and is part of wider reforms and initiatives being undertaken by the school to improve attendance, learning and parent engagement.
We are able to support this in a small way by providing some resources to the school; reading materials, literacy tools, nutritious snacks and some refurbished computers.
We are also always looking for ways to support the school in their efforts as education is the key to the future. We have provided prizes and rewards for the school to use to reward and encourage attendance and behaviour, donated books to the library, educational software and school bags loaded with pencil cases and books.
The school has also been very supportive of OtK, particularly in providing much needed accommodation for volunteers providing programs.
Unfortunately due to a range of factors - vision direction not aligning with grant, increasing bureaucratic requirements and regulations etc we had to decline the grant for the holiday program. We did try to negotiate to hand over the grant to the school to continue the after school care and the bureaucrats tried their best but rules and red tape got in the way making it technically not possible for a school to run an after school educational program!
However we look forward to being able to continue to support the school as much as we still can in their efforts to improve educational attainment and futures for the kids of Kowanyama.