Suncorp Group's donation to help vulnerable kids stay connected with schools
Suncorp Group has donated $1 million to The Smith Family to combat the growing digital divide being faced by vulnerable school students and families as a result of COVID-19.
Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said that as essential services, including education, moved online, it was critical that vulnerable students were not left behind.
“Many families were already doing it tough well before COVID-19 and, as we move more online, a lack of access to online learning platforms could have a lasting impact on a child’s education,” Mr Johnston said.
“Suncorp’s partnership with The Smith Family is a significant step towards ensuring that doesn’t happen. Supporting vulnerable students to access their schoolwork online, so they can stay connected with their teachers and classmates is essential right now.”
Suncorp Group's donation to The Smith Family will see the delivery of hundreds of Digital Inclusion Packs to families across the country, giving them access to a digital device, internet connection and technical support to help navigate schooling at home.
The CEO of The Smith Family, Dr Lisa O’Brien said she was grateful to receive Suncorp’s significant donation and delighted they have moved so quickly to help address this urgent need.
“Nearly a quarter of the 50,000 students on The Smith Family’s flagship Learning for Life program have no access to a home computer with reliable internet access and are at risk of not being able to participate fully in their education during this crisis,” Dr O’Brien said.
“Children from financially disadvantaged families start school behind, and they often stay behind without additional financial, personal and practical support. The last thing we want is for these children to fall further behind in their learning as a result of not having the essential items they need to continue their studies at home.
Prior to coronavirus, there were already 1.2 million young Australians living in poverty. The Smith Family is concerned this number will rise as more families are pushed into poverty as a result of the crisis.