Teacher journal archive (2008-2011)

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‘We have all witnessed extraordinary destruction and loss over the last few months with the floods and cyclone in Australia, the devastating earthquake in neighbouring New Zealand last month and now the horrific earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan. One of the important messages from these tragedies is that all of us can make a difference.’ So said Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 15 March, commending the work of SchoolAid, a national schools-based philanthropy network that aims to ‘empower kids to help kids.’ School-Aid is working in partnership with Save the Children to support Japanese children directly affected by the disaster. Such support is particularly important, explains Head of KidsHelpLine Wendy Protheroe, because it actually helps children here in Australia who’ve experienced disaster and those otherwise experiencing vicarious trauma as a result of saturation media coverage, as well as those in Japan. Crises of the kind we’ve witnessed have a further effect: they turn our attention to chronic disasters, an area where SchoolAid is also active. SchoolAid runs a literacy campaign to nurture and support kids in Australia’s remote communities. Its 2010 Kids Helping Kids Awards likewise focuses on encouraging schools that support children affected by chronic disadvantage. Winner in the Outstanding Individual Teacher category, Moya Sharpe, for example, has developed a fundraising program at Sorell Primary School in Tasmania to help Cambodian orphan children in need. Sharpe and Sorell Primary are not alone.