Thanks to a connection with the local church, YouthCARE chaplains Jono and Jocelyn Prosser have been able to help disadvantaged students in Katanning stay in school.
The pair have been able to use money set aside by the church to help needy students with basic supplies such as uniforms, stationery, medicine and food.
Jocelyn said the assistance has helped boost attendance.
“The new uniforms particularly have had a surprising effect on many of the students who have received them, with the Deputy at my school noticing a difference in attendance and sense of belonging for the students with new uniforms,” she said.
“Some students have never had the privilege of owning a nice new uniform. It has been amazing (and surprising to many staff) what a difference this small gift has made to both the students and to their parents. Some of the parents of the children who have received uniforms have been more responsive to the school staff and their efforts. It seems as if this gesture speaks to them to say that someone cares about them and their kids, and encourages them on to want to be better parents.”
The money has also been particularly useful for head lice treatments. When a child has head lice, they have to stay home until clear. Head lice treatments from the pharmacy can cost about $20 per child.
“So, when a family with many children has head lice, this often results in a long absence from school as the family are not able to afford the necessary treatment,” Jocelyn said.
“Now that we are able to provide head lice treatment to those who cannot afford it, the absence times of these students is drastically reduced to just one day. A great outcome for the student's learning.”