The Smith Family:
helping disadvantaged kids stay in school and reach their full
The Smith Family is a national,
independent, social enterprise committed to unlocking opportunities
for financially disadvantaged families to participate more fully in
society. They have been responding to the needs of Australians
since 1922. The Smith Family seeks to use practical, effective
programs to help families break the cycle of poverty. In so doing,
they have developed an innovative preventative education program
called Learning for Life.
Learning for Life provides children from financially
disadvantaged families with personal support and financial
assistance. A financial scholarship provides young people and their
families with assistance for educational costs such as uniforms,
textbooks, and excursions. Education Support Workers work with
families to provide personal support, access to additional
programs, and advocacy. There is currently over 22 000 students
from primary to tertiary levels receiving assistance through the
Learning for Life program throughout Australia.
Pearson Australia shares The Smith Family's
vision that education is the key to Australia's future. Pearson
Australia approached The Smith Family, and in late 2000, became a
partner of the Learning for Life Program. The
partnership's aim is to develop programs and activities that build
on the assets of Pearson - its people, its products, and the
community in which it operates, and match these to the needs of the
Learning for Life program.
- Office fundraising activities; including participation in major
fundraising activities such as 'Around the Bay in a Day' cycling
event in Victoria, Australia.
- Employees have volunteered their time to mentor tertiary
students; proof-read Learning for Life report cards, and
help pack and distribute Christmas hampers.
- To support students on the Learning for Life Tertiary program,
by offering a discount on their recommend Pearson texts.
- Supporting the student2student literacy support
program, by offering The Smith Family a discount on reading
- A Christmas e-card, used in lieu of printed cards, with the
cost saving going to The Smith Family.
- In 2002, Pearson created the Pearson Community Awards to
recognise the commitment many employees make to their local
communities. In 2004, The Smith Family Committee at Pearson
Australia was awarded one of these prestigious awards, alongside
employees from the US, UK and Spain. The award resulted in Pearson
donating US$2000 to The Smith Family.
The Learning for Life program in
"Both educational and financial assistance offered by The
Smith Family have played one of the biggest roles in assisting me
to succeed… I probably would not have been able to do my degree
without the assistance of The Smith Family as the requirements of
the current course involve the purchase of numerous materials
throughout the year." Past Tertiary Scholarship
"The Scholarship has changed my life. You believe in me, my
mentor believes in me and now I believe in me."
Tertiary Scholarship Student