Starting Block is an incentive and rewards-based program aimed at improving school attendance and family engagement in education for all students from pre-prep to Year 12.
By providing classroom resources for teachers and students, Cathy Freeman Foundation staff work with students in the classroom to track and encourage attendance. The program engages students to be accountable for their own attendance and increases awareness and understanding about school and educational achievement.
Community staff also deliver lessons in class designed to empower students to recognise their potential and set goals for the future. Themes covered are dreams and goals, role models, confidence and resilience, and celebrating culture.
The Starting Block Program recognises students for effort and progress and rewards small learning steps on a daily basis via a classroom chart. These efforts are also consistently recognised by the student’s teacher, family and peers.
At the completion of each school term, all seven school partners host a Starting Block Awards ceremony with the Foundation, where students who have achieved 90 per cent school attendance receive an award. This involves students receiving certificates, books, sports equipment, art supplies, and other recreational rewards, as agreed with the school community.
The Cathy Freeman Foundation team encourages students and community to work together towards their common goal of a brighter future for the children.
The Starting Block awards provide an opportunity for the school community and community members to celebrate the positive steps the students are taking in their education journey. The public recognition received during the awards often fosters a sense of pride in the students and encourages them to reach their next milestone.