Educational opportunities for students living in country towns have been significantly enhanced following the recent issuing of funding grants by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation.
Funded by the RAS Foundation and independently administered the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), this ninth round of E3 educational grants has directly assisted twelve rural and regional communities.
The schools and community groups from Iona, Willow Tree, Boomi, Ulladulla, Henty, Cullen Bullen, Orange, Dubbo, Collarenebri, Middleton (Parkes), Boggabri and Coonamble have shared in funding grants totalling just over $50,000, distributed under the Foundation’s E³ Grants program.
Antonia Ruffell, RAS Foundation Executive Officer said the latest round of funding grants will support a variety of school and community projects.
“This current round of E³ Grants will help implement and support a range of literacy and numeracy projects for young people, including the replacement of library books and computer software, the training of parents as mentors and the allocation of books for disadvantaged children to take home,” said Ms Ruffell.
The grants will provide vital support for projects that otherwise wouldn’t be available to these small and isolated communities.
“Many families in Collarenebri struggle to find the money to purchase books. This means a lot of children are missing out on the chance to read books by themselves, with their parents, and learn important basic literacy skills,” said Odessa O'Brien from Books in Homes Australia.
Cindy Allan, Director at Willow Tree Preschool says the grant means the world to their small rural preschool.
"We constantly struggle for funds and this money will boost our limited and dated cognitive resources that the children need on a daily basis to help increase their literacy and numeracy skills. We will update these resources so all of our children, especially those off to primary school next year, will be on a level playing field with children in more highly populated towns,” said Ms Allan.
Since the RAS Foundation’s launch in 2007, more than $300,000 has been distributed to rural and regional communities.