Australia: School turns to crowdfunding to keep program afloat
WORLD/ Australia – When schools budget are cut and programs must go on, schools are hard-pressed for solutions to ensure students continue to receive quality education. Thornbury High School had their mentorship program’s funding cut. This meant they had two options: to either lose the tutors and engagement officer who managed to get indigenous students to school, or raise the funds themselves.
Students affected by funding cut
Ending the program would mean 52 indigenous students will lose 40 hours of tutorial weekly – help they need to boost their math and literacy capacity. A student, Miriki Cooper, believed the program helped. ” “I reckon that’s why I got to Year 10,” says Meriki Cooper. “I would have left”.
Another student, Josh Basso, was at school the day The Sunday Age visited because Mr Neaves had got him out of bed. “He gets my butt to school. He woke me up [and] said: ‘I’m going to be there in five’. He relates to us because he is Aboriginal, he’s known in the community, he knows my auntie and stuff”. According to The Age, the school was informed by the Victorian government that the indigenous funding will be “refocus(ed)” on Koori children in kindergarten to Year 3.
Crowdfunding for financial help
Without funds to keep its program afloat, the school’s IT technician crowdfunding. Crowd funding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people. While crowdfunding can be done offline, online crowdfunding is the most effective. The two largest global crowdfunding sites at the moment are indiegogo and kickstarter.
Thornbury High launched the Save our Koorie Program on crowdfunding website chuffed.org in June and has raised more than $9,900 towards its goal of $30,000 at the time of writing. It is reported that a philanthropist has provided another $20,000.
“I just think it’s a bit sad that’s what we’ve had to resort to,” the school principal Peter Egeberg says.