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NEWS DESK

Southern Peninsula

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An independent voice for the community We are the only locally owned and operated community newspaper on the Mornington Peninsula. We are dedicated to the belief that a strong community newspaper is essential to a strong community. We exist to serve residents, community groups and businesses and ask for their support in return.

On the move: Tootgaraook Primary School teacher Tace Withers and pupils prepare for an excursion in a bus bought by the George Hicks Foundation.

Keeping kids in the classroom TOOTGAROOK Primary School is making a big effort to keep disadvantaged pupils in the school system. “About 65 per cent of families here come from economically disadvantaged families and keeping them in school is a major challenge,” assistant principal Paul King said. “Disadvantaged pupils often feel isolated within the school system – dragged down by problems at home, unable to afford the right uniform and, sometimes, coming to school hungry. For some kids it just becomes easier to give up on school.” To help tackle these problems, the school, in Carmichael St, has joined

forces with charity St Vincent De Paul to provide funding for uniforms, books and school camps. Two volunteers aged in their 70s have developed a woodwork program and even go into pupils’ homes to help understand their individual circumstances. The volunteers also contribute food assistance to the Breakfast Club which is run and coordinated by a group of concerned parents, who also seek additional funds through local community groups. Inspired by the grassroots efforts made by Mr King and the volunteers, the George Hicks Foundation has also help fund the programs and even

bought a bus for the school. The foundation focuses on disadvantage on the Mornington Peninsula. Executive officer Stephanie Exton says the most successful programs to combat disadvantage are created and driven by local communities. “At George Hicks Foundation, we are all about supporting those determined and inspiring local people who don’t wait for help, but make things happen themselves,” she said. “The community at Tootgarook Primary School, led by Paul King, are the kind of people we want to support and fund.”

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Southern Peninsula News 11 August 2015

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Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

11 August 2015  

Southern Peninsula News 11 August 2015

11 August 2015  

Southern Peninsula News 11 August 2015

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