In an initiative to help raise money for local Australian primary schools and support children devastated by the impact of abuse, neglect and family violence, the Australian Childhood Foundation has invited more than 5000 schools to participate in its Childhood Hero Dress-up Day, which will be held on Friday 13th June 2008.
Students who wish to dress up as their childhood hero will be asked to donate $2.00 to their school. Fifty per cent of the funds raised will be retained by the school and 50 per cent will be donated to the Australian Childhood Foundation. The school that raises the most money will win a Fujifilm FinePix S5700 camera.
The Australian Childhood Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that delivers a range of services to help put a stop to child abuse. Childhood Hero Dress-up Day gives children an opportunity to acknowledge the heroes in their lives. A childhood hero could be a sporting identity, family member, community member such as a policeman, fireman, or a super hero.
According to the Australian Childhood Foundation’s CEO, Dr Joe Tucci, the Foundation’s schools program is a critical component of its annual Childhood Hero Appeal.
“Each year we are strongly supported by Australian schools,” explains Dr Tucci.
“Schools are a critical avenue of getting information to teachers, parents, children and their local communities. Childhood Hero Dress Up Day gives us all an opportunity to celebrate the fun, innocence and importance of childhood, while at the same time raise much needed funds for schools and the Foundation.”
Schools are also encouraged to incorporate the theme of Childhood Hero into the curriculum including Show and Tell, Art and Writing and Expression.
“We believe every child needs a hero to make them feel special, loved and cared for,” says Dr Tucci. “Our annual Childhood Hero Appeal and schools program help raise awareness of the importance of heroes and mentors in children’s lives, particularly those who need heroes the most: children traumatised by abuse, family violence and neglect.”
Child abuse is Australia’s most critical community problem. Last year, there were 309 517 new reports of child abuse and neglect received across Australia. That equates to one report every two minutes. More infants under the age of 12 months were found to have been abused or neglected than children in any other age group. Last year, there were more children living away from their family for their own protection than ever before. The number of children in care has more than doubled in the past decade – increasing from 13 979 in 1996 to 28 441 in 2007.
All money raised from Childhood Hero Dress Up Day will go towards: Counselling children who are victims of abuse; educational programs for professionals and parents; and researching the effects of child abuse in the community.
For schools interested in participating in Childhood Hero Dress Up Day, a registration site has been established at the website.