Our Student Wellbeing activities relate to two of the Education Benalla Program objectives:
- To improve student-assessed levels of wellbeing to moderate or high
- To raise family and community expectations of students going on to tertiary education or training
Tomorrow Today funds children and young people so they can participate fully in community and school life even though their families are experiencing financial disadvantage.
We do not accept direct requests. Instead we work with Benalla referral agencies including schools, clubs, Benalla Rural City Council, NESAY, GOTAFE, Benalla Police, Benalla Health, Dept Human Services and Upper Murray Family Care.
Areas covered include:
Educational costs – to buy school uniforms, provide access to after-school care, attend school camps and excursions, hire instruments to enable participation in school bands, and to attend a special education setting that caters for students with learning difficulties.
Connect Clubs – we work with all local clubs to encourage and support teenage participation in club activities. Young people have received assistance to participate in swimming, teen gym, dancing, gymnastics, lawn bowls, basketball, football, netball, Scouts and Venturers, drama classes and music lessons.
Back to School vouchers – each year we work with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) to provide hundreds of FRRR Sidney Myer $50 Back To School Vouchers. The vouchers, which are distributed by school principals and welfare officers at all Benalla district schools, help parents buy uniforms, clothing and basic educational needs.
A student’s sense of health and happiness has a profound impact on educational success and whether that student will stay in, or turn away from, education. Research shows that it is possible to positively affect young people’s wellbeing by building connections between teenagers, families, the community and the school.
Tomorrow Today believes that we, as a community, need to redouble our efforts to keep students engaged at school. We also need to make the community more aware of the importance of students attending school each day so they do not fall behind to the point where they disconnect completely from education.
Benalla’s unique Connect9 is a community based mentoring program developed by Tomorrow Today Foundation for Year Nine students, who are usually aged 15.
Hands On Learning is a creative, flexible learning program that sits outside the school’s standard curriculum. It allows small groups of up to 10 students to work on real projects one day a week.
After School Paid Part-Time Work
We have partnered with NE Tracks LLEN and a number of other agencies to design and develop a program that trains young people for after-school part-time work and connects them to potential employers.
Research shows that being engaged in part-time work contributes to improved student engagement with school and the community. It also arms students with valuable life skills.
Students complete training in employability skills, employment rights and responsibilities, team work and resume writing. Local business people attend sessions to tell their stories and give students tips and advice on how to succeed in the workplace. They also assist with mock interviews.
We help students who finish the training, to find part-time work in the local community.
Increasing Participation in Sport
Research shows that participation in sports and cultural activities is particularly beneficial to those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Yet close to half of all children living in the most disadvantaged communities do not participate in either sport or cultural activities.
Tomorrow Today has organised ‘Come and Try’ days in 2016 and 2017 so that local children have the opportunity to try many different sports and cultural activities. Financial assistance is then offered to families in receipt of healthcare and pension cards so that children aged 5 to 18 can participate in the sport or hobby of their choice.
The Education Benalla Program runs across the whole Benalla community. We conduct activities on our own and with partners, and Tomorrow Today also supports other groups and agencies with the same goals.
Grants have assisted a local youth group, youth art projects, Benalla Street Art Inc and North East Artisans, and the Winton Wetlands environmental project – all of which increase opportunities for students to connect. For example, support for the Let’s Find Our Voice! concert and story-telling fostered social connectedness and learning between young (FCJ students) and old (Cooinda residents). Community Grants are locally funded thanks to the income generated by the Tomorrow Today Community Fund.