Tomorrow:Today Foundation - Latest News
Cheers to a terrific meal
Photo: Courtesy of Benalla Ensign ©
Participants in the Connect9 program were treated to a Masterchef cooking lesson at GOTAFE last week as part of the mentoring program's weekly activities.
Mentors and mentees prepared a two-course meal for nearly 30 people under the guidance of chef Jane Wall, and enjoyed each other's company when they sat down to eat their creations together.
L2P Benalla program co-ordinator Vivien Ives, and Tina McCormack from Goulburn Ovens TAFE spoke briefly to the mentors and mentees about the learner driver program and the Career Voyager activity offered through GOTAFE, which aim to support teenagers to get on the roads and enter the workforce.
The 10-week Connect9 program is run by the Tomorrow:Today Foundation and sees mentors paired with Year 9 students and participate in weekly activities ranging from a sport session to an 'Amazing Race' at the Benalla Library.
After four weeks of scheduled activities, mentors and mentees plan their next five sessions independently, and Tomorrow:Today Foundation's Sabine Smyth said the idea was for the participants to choose activities that linked in with their interests and hobbies.
The final week of this group's program will be held in June and will see all participants come together at the gliding club to reflect on their time in the program.
Photo: Courtesy of Benalla Ensign ©
Tomorrow:Today Foundation’s Sabine Smyth is excited about the organisation being the first to gain statewide accreditation for its popular mentoring program.
The Connect9 Program involves one to one mentoring for Year 9 students and has proven popular since its inception in 2011.
Mrs Smyth said that, after several months of hard work and due process, the foundation had been awarded accreditation by the Victorian Youth Mentoring Alliance(VYMA). Further to this, Tomorrow:Today Foundation’s successful Quality Assurance Project will be used as a template for other organisations.
VYMA co-ordinator Clare Waldron said she was impressed with those involved with the program. ‘‘The Connect 9 program may be small, but the Tomorrow:Today Foundation have made tremendous efforts to ensure their program is of the highest quality,’’ Ms Waldron said. ‘‘The Tomorrow:Today Foundation have been the forerunners in the Quality Assurance Project run by the VYMA. ‘‘I was impressed by the professionalism of the staff and their solid understanding the complex issues faced in the mentoring sector.
‘‘In recognition of their efforts the Tomorrow:Today Foundation have been the first organisation in Victoria to become a VYMA Quality Member.’’
Mrs Smyth said Connect9 was available to Year 9 students and was a ‘‘health and wellbeing program’’ aimed at increasing self-esteem and a focus on the future. ‘‘It’s a bit of a turning point for young people at that age; they can be stressed figuring out what they are going to do with their future,’’ Mrs Smyth said. ‘‘It helps with their career and life direction.
‘‘The difference with our program is that it is short, just 10 weeks. But it works.’’
Mrs Smyth said the program involved connecting 15 Year 9 Students with knowledgeable local adults. As a group, the participants discuss career and life goals and are then assisted in creating individual plans for their time in the program. The participants will try a range of new activities including trying a new sport, investigating a new hobby, looking into volunteering and finding out what career might suit them in them in future.
For further information, contact Sabine Smyth at Tomorrow:Today Foundation on 5762 1211.
Small grants available
Now is the time to apply for a small grant from Tomorrow:Today Foundation. Applications from local organisations and groups are invited for activities that help build a stronger, more resilient and prosperous rural community.
All applications must be received by 5pm next Tuesday.
"As our Community Fund has grown, thanks to wonderful community support, so has the Foundation's ability to support local charitable projects," Foundation Chair Sally Gamble said.
"We're hoping to get lots of applications from across Benalla and district. If your group needs from a few hundred up to a few thousand dollars, for a good idea that will benefit the local community, then get in touch with the Foundation now."
Funding priorities for Tomorrow:Today's small grants this year include: families with young children, youth development, community connectedness and addressing social disadvantage.
Applications for projects that do not fit these priorities will still be considered for funding.
Tomorrow:Today Foundation will again be working in collaboration with the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR).
Guidelines and application forms for Tomorrow:Today's Small Grants are available on its website at www.tomorrowtoday.com.au or by calling into the office at Shop 10 Cecily Court, 66 Nunn Street, Benalla. To discuss your idea or proposal, phone the Foundation on 5762 1211.
Applications will close at 5 pm on Tuesday, April 2.
Program for Year 9s
Do you know a Benalla Year 9 student who would benefit from taking part in Connect9?
An initiative of the Tomorrow:Today Foundation, Connect9 is currently taking enrolments for the Term 2 and Term 3 programs.
Connect9 involves 10 after-school activities over 10 weeks, in small groups or one-on-one with a community mentor who has been specially teamed up with each young person.
Participants get to do a mini Amazing Race, a sporting challenge, a MasterChef Session in a commercial kitchen, complete some life and career planning and as a grand finale get a free glider flight over Benalla.
"I encourage parents of teenagers in Year 9 to talk to their son or daughter about participating in this fun and free program. We have had fabulous results for the students that have participated in past years," Tomorrow:Today Volunteer Coordinator Sabine Smyth said.
"Students who especially benefit are those with fewer connections to the Benalla community, those who are a bit unsure about what they might do after school, and those who are trying to work out their career direction."
"We are very lucky to have a wonderful team of local people who are our mentors. They empower our mentees to have a go, investigate things and try out new experiences," Ms Smyth said.
"Connect9 is rather unique because it is run by Benalla people for Benalla's teenagers."
The Term 2 program will run from April 16 to June 22, and the Term 3 program from July 16 to September 4. For more details visit www.tomorrowtoday.com.au or phone 5762 1211.
Lots of fun to bear
Songs, stories, rhymes and fun were the order of the day for the first multi-age Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) session in Benalla on Thursday March 7. PEEP stands for Parents Early Education Partnership and it’s about families learning together through talking, singing and doing things together.
The theme for the day was bears so there were songs about bears, rhymes about bears, and of course the classic bear story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” The children fed some cardboard bears with porridge, they coloured in bears and did bear puzzles. They put bears to bed, acted out the story with bear puppets and tried filling different size bear bowls with pasta. Ten children took part with their families and had a great time.
Multi-age PEEP is open to all families with children from birth to school age. It will be held at Waminda Community House every Thursday commencing at 1.30pm. The session goes for one hour, but families are welcome to stay on and have a cuppa together afterwards while the children enjoy a healthy afternoon tea of fruit and milk. You don’t have to register, just drop in.
PEEP is coordinated in Benalla by the Tomorrow:Today Foundation and is supported by the family liaison workers from Benalla Rural City Council and funding from the Advancing Country Towns Project.
For more information, parents can phone Cath Warnock at Tomorrow:Today Foundation on 03 57621211.
Vouchers help with school expenses
Photo: Courtesy of Benalla Ensign ©
Tomorrow:Today Foundation is again helping local children to start school on a positive note.
The Foundation has distributed 515 vouchers worth $27500 through the 2013 Sidney Myer Fund/ FRRR Back to School Program.
This is the ninth consecutive year that Tomorrow:Today Foundation has helped Benalla and district families in need, with back to school expenses for their children’s education.
More vouchers than usual were distributed this year thanks to local community support.
Tomorrow:Today Foundation Director, Bill Dobson, thanked the Rotary Club of Benalla, Benalla Lions Club and Soroptimist International as well as a number of local families who all supported the purchase of extra vouchers.
“We knew there was extra need in the community this year,” Mr Dobson said. “When we discovered that we could buy extra vouchers on a two for one basis we approached a number of groups and received strong support, enabling us to send $2,250 in cash to secure $4,500 worth or extra vouchers.”
The vouchers are distributed to school principals who arrange for them to be distributed to families experiencing financial hardship. The vouchers assist families in need to purchase essential items such as books, stationary and school bags as well as shoes and clothing at the start of the school year.
Benalla P-12 College Principal Barbara O’Brien said the vouchers were greatly appreciated. “This year there was great need among our families as all students needed to change to a new school uniform. We really appreciated the work Tomorrow:Today did to ensure our vouchers were tailored for use at our uniform shop.”
The 2013 Back to School Program is an initiative of the Sidney Myer Fund and FRRR, proudly supported by the Origin Foundation, the Ian Potter Foundation, the Estate of the Late Edward Wilson, Aussie Farmers Foundation, the Julian Flett Foundation managed by Perpetual, other generous donors, Target and the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government.
Funding information offered
Local community and sporting organisations are invited to attend upcoming funding information sessions at Goorambat and Benalla.
Representatives from Benalla Rural City Council, Tomorrow:Today Foundation, Department of Planning and Community Development, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Valley Sport and Multicultural Arts Victoria will be on hand to provide information on funding and other assistance available to community groups.
The Goorambat session is set for Monday, February 18 from 7pm to 9pm at Goorambat Hall. The Benalla session will take place at Benalla Town Hall on Monday, February 25 from 7pm to 9pm, with supper provided at both sessions. Benalla Rural City's community development manager Jane Archbold said community groups would be able to hear directly from the funding agencies and regional sporting body Valley Sport.
"Speakers will provide an overview of current funding opportunities and resources available to assist community and sporting groups with projects, events and activities," Ms Archbold said.
"This is a great opportunity for volunteers to hear first hand the grant opportunities and other assistance available to help their group."
Care to be a mentor?
The Tomorrow:Today Foundation is running two Connect9 mentoring programs in 2013 and is seeking a number of mentors.
Are you available to mentor a 15 year old in Connect9 during either or both term two (April 16 to June 22) and term three (July 16 to September 4)? If so, let Tomorrow:Today know.
As always, the program begins with three fun group sessions and a career orientation planning session, during which mentors and mentees plan out the rest of their time.
This year there are extra optional group activities for the final six weeks of the program: Fitness @ YMCA, cooking a la Master Chef, race around the library, pottery, archery, bushwalking, meditation/relaxation, Venturers, open mic and Career Voyager are all again on the Connect9 program.
Tomorrow:Today will conduct two mentor briefing sessions which all prospective mentors are requested to attend: on Tuesday, March 12 and 19 from 6.30pm to 8pm. Before each program begins, there will be a cheese and wine briefing session so mentors for the first program can meet each other. This will take place on Tuesday, April 9, from 6pm to 7pm at the Tomorrow:Today Foundation offices.
If you are interested in being a mentor, please enrol for the induction sessions by phoning 5762 1211. Only new mentors need to complete a registration form.
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