Tuesday, 8 November 2019: Over 150 remote and rural schools across the country will receive over 10,000 pieces of educational resources thanks to the support of Woolworths customers through its Earn & Learn program.
The popular program is one of the supermarket’s biggest community initiatives. Running since 2011, it sees Aussies come together to collect stickers to help schools obtain a variety of much needed educational resources to support
great minds of the future.
This year, Woolworths launched a new ‘Remote Schools Program’ initiative, which ensures schools that may not be near a Woolworths store can still benefit from the Earn & Learn program via sticker donations from other local communities.
Since the program began, Woolworths has supplied over $61 million dollars’ worth of educational resources. This year alone, Woolworths is set to deliver a record number of over 500,000 pieces of educational equipment to more than 14,000 schools across Australia.
Woolworths Head of Fresh Food Kids Programs, Sarah De La Mare said; “Every time we run this program, it grows and 2019 is no exception – it’s our biggest year yet. Thanks to the incredible contribution from communities across the country, we are able to develop the great minds of tomorrow.
“It has been heartwarming to see such a positive response to the new Remote Schools initiative. The generosity of our customers means that 150 remote and rural schools will have access to equipment that will positively enhance their academic future.This includes items such as magnetic whiteboards, essential everyday items such as blue tac and glue, right through to Bunsen burners and microscope slide sets that will help them on their learning journey.”
One of the schools benefiting from the Woolworths Earn & Learn ‘Remote Schools Program’ initiative is a remote Victorian school with only 23 pupils. Tempy Primary School’s nearest Woolworths store is over 129km away in Swan Hill but thanks to the country, this year, the school was able to redeem much needed resources for the school.
Tempy Primary School Principal, Cheryl Torpey, said; “Our very small school, and schools across the country who are remote like us, have been blessed with fantastic support by those who chose to donate their stickers to the Remote Schools Program.
"The Woolworths Earn and Learn Program allow us to not only provide art supplies and sporting equipment, but also fantastic resources that normally our school could not afford.”
The changing trend of educational resources wanted by Aussie schools since Earn & Learn was established
Redemption of items via this years program has revealed a growing trend of Aussie schools redeeming robotics equipment, with popular items including virtual reality headsets and tools for coding.
In 2011, only 2.2% of the total resources redeemed by schools registered for Earn & Learn were from the robotics category, growing significantly to 14.6% this year.
Other popular items for redemption in 2019 include LEGO construction sets to help children develop fine motor skills while constructing; Indigenous resources such as Aboriginal art puzzles and dreamscapes; and sporting equipment including outdoor games kits and dexterity balls.
Schools across the country also ordered over 30,000 tennis balls.
Modern Teaching Aids, Australia’s largest supplier of educational resources to Schools and Early Childhood Centres, Chief Operating Officer, Matthew Arecco said; “We’re seeing trends in schools redeeming new kinds of resources, highlighting how the classroom has changed since Earn & Learn was first established in 2011.
“To ensure children are prepared for the future, the program’s curriculum-aligned resource range is designed to help teachers deliver the right learning outcome in the classroom. In recent years, we have seen a significant uplift in schools redeeming digital technologies such as robotics and tools for coding, as well as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) resources.
“Through the Woolworths Earn & Learn program, schools and early learning centres can positively benefit and redeem resources that will inspire the next generation.”
Information & Communication Technology (ICT) was the leading resources category across most states and territories, except New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, which selected Mathematics as their preferred type of equipment to receive.