Every child deserves the right to an education. Many children in out-of-home care miss out on the opportunity to have a sound education because of the turmoil and trauma in their young lives, hindering their learning capabilities.
Currently, there are more than 53,000 children living in out-of-home care. Of these children, approximately 32,250 will not complete high school. Many of these children bounce from home to home and to different schools, and as a result, their education and life outcomes are compromised:
• 92% of the children in care are below the average reading level at age seven
• 50% of the homeless come from a care background
• 35% of children in care enter the juvenile justice system at some point
• 28% of care-leavers are parents within 12 months of leaving care
The Pyjama Foundation was founded in 2004 in Brisbane by a passionate advocate for children in care, Bronwyn Sheehan, who wanted to optimise their educational opportunities by instilling in them a love of learning. A nurse and mother of three, she was alarmed to discover that of the then 21,500 children in care Australia-wide, 92 per cent of them had a below average reading ability by the time they were seven.
Wonderful as the care is from foster parents, most have multiple children in their homes and are too busy for one-on-one learning time. So Bronwyn recruited an army of ‘Pyjama Angels’, who spend an hour to an hour-and-a-half each week mentoring a child in their foster home. Their mission is to help foster children achieve their dreams and fullest potential.
“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”
The Pyjama Foundation has a rigorous, though completely necessary process for those wanting to become Pyjama Angels. All volunteers must undergo an interview, referee checks, apply for a Blue Card or Working with Children Check, before being trained on how to support and assist children in foster care. Once training is completed, The Pyjama Foundation team carefully places volunteers with children who have similar interests. During their visit, Pyjama Angels read books aloud, assist with homework and play educational games. Currently, more than 1500 Pyjama Angels operate in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, reading to more than 1700 children.
Whether the child wants to grow up to be an astronaut or a doctor, The Pyjama Foundation is there to help them reach their potential by assisting them with their learning and by providing consistent love and support. With a little confidence and encouragement, who knows what these incredible kids can achieve?
By improving the child’s learning skills, The Pyjama Foundation is making a positive, life-long impact on their future.
For more information please visit:
Battle of The Brains Trivia Night – Townsville
When: Saturday 25 March starting at 6pm
Where: Townsville Darts Association
Price: $20 per brain
What: Battle of The Brains Pyjama Trivia Night is all about coming together with your friends, family and colleagues to go head to head with other teams to see which team is the smartest – taking out the title of ‘Trivia Champion 2017’! It’s also about raising much-needed funds for children in foster care who deserve a brighter start in life. Participants are encouraged to don their pyjamas or onesies while battling against other teams in 10 seriously fun rounds – with trivia questions drawn from general knowledge, fun facts, music, movies and sports.
Book tickets at www.thepyjamafoundation.com