10 Mar 2022
After previously supporting Wallaroo Primary School with smaller grants, The Ross Trust has recently committed $120,000 over three years to the school’s Thrive Program.
“Education at our school is very different to that at a lot of other schools,” says principal Jenny Brennan. “It’s not just about traditional academics – we also have a strong focus on social, emotional, and medical and health needs.
“Some of our students are in a cycle of poverty, and it’s important that we understand the needs of their families and be respectful and supportive.”
The support of The Ross Trust will enable Wallaroo Primary School to provide the No Limits program to 2022 Preps. The program addresses the low rates of oral language in the area.
“Oral language is the precursor to reading and writing, without intervention, children struggle to learn to read,” Jenny says.
Year 6 pupils will also benefit from the funding through access to the Learning Enhancement Program, which addresses very low rates of readiness for secondary school across Western Port.
And when it comes to nutrition, the grant will also ensure the continuation of the Healthy Eats Program.
“Many parents don’t have their own transport and the closest grocer is a few kilometres.
Now the children can have breakfast at school every day”. said Jenny.
“It’s staffed, and free, and the children can eat as much as they want,” Jenny says. “There is always fruit in the classrooms – the pupils don’t have to ask; they just go and get it. There is no stigma.”
The program also involves a staff member planning and preparing lunches with different classes every day, teaching hygiene, ingredient selection, and cooking methods.
The Ross Trust Chief Executive Sarah Hardy says the program strongly aligns with the trust’s place-based focus on the locality of Mornington Peninsula, particularly students and families living in Hastings.
“The funding is supporting the school with hiring a speech assistant, professional learning for staff, and the food program,” Sarah says.