On November 17th, we will all be heading down to Victoria Park to participate in Ballarat’s biggest fun run event, Run For A Cause. As the name suggests, it’s all for a cause and this year the cause will focus on early childhood issues in Ballarat.
Recent statistics have found that one in 5 children in our community start school disadvantaged in at least one area of development. The Ballarat Foundation is committed to helping programs and charities who alleviate the disadvantage of children in the Ballarat community. We have partnered with 6 charity groups to for Run For a Cause, with funds raised going to these programs. Participants will be able to choose which charity partner they donate to at registration.
Eureka Mums was established in early 2014 and does fantastic work for children and families in Ballarat. They collect, sort and redistribute donated items such as nursery equipment, clothing and nappies for disadvantaged children. Last year, Eureka Mums supported almost 2,000 children in our community, operating out of a rented warehouse in Sebastopol and run almost entirely by volunteers. Funds raised from Run For A Cause will go towards operations costs, buying new nursery items and equipment for their Tools for Schools program.
Eureka Community Kindergarten Association is the provider of 27 kindergarten services and one long day care centre in the Ballarat region. The Teachers and Educators employed in our services focus on the learning and development of preschool children with a focus on school readiness. Funds raised from Run For a Cause will go towards staff development, improving education programs and purchasing new resources and teaching aids, all with the aim of improving school transition programs and activities to help children with school readiness.
Playgroup Victoria is based from Sebastopol Primary School and holds seven playgroups per week at the school including Me and My Dad, Spanish and Japanese speaking playgroups. The playgroups aid with the development of children in the early years and also have an impact on the wellbeing of the parents and carers that attend. Any funds raised from the partnerships would be put back into the Playgroup Hub to create an early years play space within the school grounds, that the playgroups and the general community can use.
Ballarat Community Health Paediatric Clinic focuses on pre-school children who are in out of home care or clients of family services. The child health program offers outreach support and assistance to children with developmental concerns and provides services such as oral health, speech therapy, family violence counselling and provides outreach support for disadvantaged families. Funds will help with ongoing cost and support expansion of clients.
Uniting Ballarat operate several Early Learning Centres within the Ballarat area. They understand that children learn best while they’re playing, so every effort is made to make learning exciting through imaginative, caring and playful learning experiences that inspire children to build positive relationships and skills for life. By working with parents and community to build programs that better support local families and their children, Uniting aim to make sure every child is ready to start school. Funds generated from Run For A cause will go towards new school equipment to ensure they have the best start possible in their school journey.
Ballarat Toy Library is operated by volunteers and provides a comprehensive selection of toys for children of all ages. The library also has a large collection of toys that are specifically chosen for children with special needs. Families are able to access what is the largest and most diverse collections of educational and therapy toys within the region, including sensory toys, toys to enhance fine motor skills, toys that encourage social skills and more. Funds will be used to purchase more toys and resources that will aid with school readiness and development through play.
Ballarat Reads is a program operated by the Ballarat Foundation launched the Ballarat Reads program and focuses on preparing young children for school in partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Penguin Books and local community partners. The children in the program are mailed out a new book each month until they are five, enabling them to build a home library. This program is essential for disadvantaged children to access good quality and age appropriate books. Reading at an early age increases vocabulary and imagination, aides with the development of the brain and ensure greater chance of school readiness. Funds raised will support more children on the program.