Easier and more affordable school travel is on the way for students of Mitchells Island Public School, thanks to a $75,000 grant from the NSW Nationals in the state government.
The grant has gone towards the cost of a new school bus, under Round 3 of the Stronger Country Communities Fund, with additional funding coming from the children’s charity Variety.
The Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Nationals in the state government’s $1.76 billion Regional Growth Fund, which is being invested in local programs and infrastructure designed to improve the lives of people in regional NSW.
In the past Mitchells Island Public has relied on parents to transport children to and from school, while needing to hire buses – at an exorbitant cost – for all activities and excursions.
Nationals member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead, said he was delighted to be able to help the school.
“We are funding grassroots projects that make a real difference to each community, and we know how important it is to support our regional towns with new infrastructure and programs,” he said.
Mitchells Island Public School principal Michelle Wilson said the new coach would enable students to reach their full potential and take pressure off local families.
“Our families have been through a lot lately – drought, fires and then floods. We have a few families who lost everything in the recent floods so some of our students have been doing it really tough. The new coach will help should we ever have to evacuate the students quickly and safely in those emergency situations. It also means we can access local sporting venues, cultural performances and community activities to give our kids the chance to participate in all there is to offer outside the school gate,” she said.
Variety acting general manager David Small said their Sunshine Coaches program is what the organisation is all about – making sure children, wherever they live, don’t miss out.
“I can’t wait to see what the students at Mitchells Island Public School can achieve now they can get out and about with their new wheels,” he said.