We live in the ‘lucky country’, right? But here we are at the start of 2019 with more than one in seven kids right here in NSW living below the poverty line. Making sure that our kids have what they need to make the best of their education makes for a stronger community, and it’s easy to help!
Education is the future, and the way out of poverty is through education. We know this. And yet, right here in our own city, there are children whose hard-working parents are going without food and medical care to provide the basics for their kids. A roof over their heads and food in their bellies must come first. So, while it may seem like such a small thing- stationery for school- for some it means so much.
Without access to basic equipment- a pen to do their homework, a pencil during class- what happens to their learning outcomes? We don’t like to think that such poverty it can happen here. But it does. According to last year’s Australian Council of Social Services report, the problem is getting worse, not better.
Since 2016, “Got A Pen?” has distributed close to ten thousand basic stationery kits to children right here in Sydney, which not only enables them to complete in-class activities, but also to have the opportunity to do their homework.
“Feedback from schools is that we are making a real difference. From something that started in my own classroom, and with help from some fellow mums has really taken off, I am so pleased to know that kids are getting tangible benefit from what we are doing.” says Nat Panzarino, co-founder. “While it doesn’t solve the issue of systemic inequality, stuff to call their very own goes at least some of the way towards closing the gap for these students.”
Lauren McCormack Sundstrom helped Nat to get the organisation off the ground three years ago when she was on maternity leave with a young baby. “We are a true grass-roots organisation, relying on the kindness of friends and strangers to donate and volunteer their time. The response from people is truly amazing.”
“Got A Pen?” is now collecting donations of new (not used) blue, black or red pens, pencils, pencil cases, rulers, scissors, pencil sharpeners, erasers, highlighters, glue sticks, coloured pencils, as well as scientific calculators and geometry sets.
WANT TO HELP?
- Purchase items or vouchers and drop them at designated points across Sydney
- Shop online and have it delivered to:
“Got A Pen?”23b Austin Street, Lane Cove, NSW 2066
- Donate via their website.
- Attend an upcoming working bee
- To stay up-to-date, ‘like’ the Got A Pen? Facebook page and Instagram