ASG & The Smith Family: Learning for Life

by User Not Found | Mar 08, 2016

TSF Graduation ACU 2016Thanks to ASG and The Smith Family’s ‘Learning for Life’ program these students have a huge reason to smile.

They recently finished high school and now their future is brighter than ever.

They’re all starting university or participating in an apprenticeship or traineeship program.     

For each of these students, they’re not taking their education for granted because without the ‘Learning for Life’ program, graduating from high school and having future aspirations for a successful career may not have been possible.

The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program is about getting young people engaged in education from when they are young and supporting their education journey.

ASG has been supporting The Smith Family since 2004 and is currently contributing $150,000 over 3 years, giving 70 disadvantaged children and young people access to education through a scholarship program.

Ten year-old Malaika is one of them and she’s been participating in The Smith Family’s Learning Club with her mum Robyn.

Robyn and MaiaikaRobyn has multiple sclerosis and receives a disability pension. She is unable to work, but volunteers at Malaika’s school and the local library where she teachers adult literacy and numeracy.

As a single parent, Robyn struggles to cover the costs of Malaika’s education, particularly extras such as excursions and learning resources for the home.

“When they rang me and told me about Malaika being offered The Smith Family scholarship I was just so overwhelmed and humbled. Somebody had identified Malaika as being a child that was in need of some extra help and I’m just grateful that she’s been offered it. She now has a volunteer literacy tutor and this year she hopes to participate in the reading program over the phone.”

Robyn says Malaika’s reading and her confidence has improved dramatically.

“She’s improved her reading age by 18 months. At the beginning of last year she was reading at age six, now she’s reading at seven-and-nine-months. She is just so keen to learn.”

Malaika says she now enjoys reading with others and believes that practice makes perfect.

“When I first started to ready at school, my reading was very horrible. One of the teachers wanted all the year 4s to read and I was only up to level one. Now I’ve practiced more and I’m up to level 19. I feel a lot more confident with reading and a whole lot more confident to be with somebody I don’t know.”

Robyn hopes to use the money she receives from the Learning for Life scholarship to help fund Malaika’s year six excursion to Canberra.   

“I want the people who support The Smith Family to know it is not all in vain. The actual growth, the development, and the benefits I’ve witnessed and experienced in my own child and seen in other children in the program shows it’s just so worth it. I’m just grateful for that help.”

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