School to keep Standing Tall mentoring program
HEYWOOD and District Secondary College will take up the funding slack to ensure its highly-rated Standing Tall mentoring program keeps running.
The future of the program had been up in the air after it lost government funding, and it has been reliant on the support of local businesses to keep going.
Standing Tall, which started about 13 years ago in Hamilton and has since spread to Heywood (in 2013), Warrnambool and Colac, is a school-based mentoring program where community members work with students that might be at risk of disengaging with school.
The Heywood program works with students from Years 6 (Heywood Consolidated School) to 12. Mentors come in to the school for one hour a week to work one-on-one with students on whatever the latter chooses.
Past success stories from the Heywood program include AFL footballer Jamaine Jones.
Standing Tall costs $38,000 a year to run. Since losing state government funding earlier this year, some of the shortfall has been picked up by local businesses, including the Port of Portland and Portland Aluminium.
Program coordinator Shara Rose said Standing Tall would keep going.
“It looks like the school are going to absorb some of the costs themselves in the coming year just to keep it going,” she said.