Removing education barriers for local kids

NRCF AdminImpact, News, Volunteer, Youth

Back To School Program 2024

Removing education barriers for local kids

Back to School (BTS) is a national program that helps remote and rural children and young people access quality educational experiences. Since 2005, this practical, positive program has helped thousands of students to engage in learning and strengthening their educational outcomes. NRCF has worked in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Australia (FRRR) on the BTS Program since 2006 to address inequalities and reduce poverty or financial stress for families in the Northern Rivers by providing vouchers to assist with getting “back to school”.

Many of these families have grandparents in the primary carer role or supporting with their grandchildren. Our program partner, FRRR, provides $50 digital gift vouchers for eligible students who are in the primary care of their grandparents (grandcarers). The vouchers can be used for school uniforms, clothing, shoes, school bags and stationery – or anything that helps students feel ready to learn.
This program has allowed us to grow relationships with schools who know their families and the grandcarers and helps engage students and create better learning outcomes.

Personal experiences of schools involved in the program last year include:


“Easy to distribute. Grandparents had a wide range of products to choose from at selected stores.”

“A student came to school with new shoes. So excited! Old shoes were too small and distracted learning at times.”

“Many of our families contact the school prior to purchasing additional school supplies to find out when the vouchers arrive. The vouchers are well received”.

“Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the 2023 Back to School program. It is awesome to see students with warm clothing for winter.”


There are two “streams” in Back to School funding:

This year, the General Stream has provided 450 Back to School Vouchers and 500 Student Technology Vouchers for a total of $72,500. And, thanks to a generous matched funding donation from both Belinda Seaton and Margaret Robertson, this round we have also been able to offer $100 vouchers redeemable for educational technology such as tablets, iPads, calculators, IT peripherals (headphones, keyboards, mouse, printers, portable drives, USB hubs), or internet data to complete school work.

Since 2005, $736,000.00 in Back To School vouchers have been distributed to schools in the Northern Rivers. This program is now in its last year, and we would like to acknowledge FRRR and our wonderful community of donors and volunteers who have contributed to this program’s success over the past 18 years.

If you are passionate about supporting disadvantaged kids in your community, a donation to these funds is a commitment to create a more supported and equitable community across the impact areas of social, economic, cultural and educational disadvantage. Help us create a Northern Rivers that thrives!

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