.

“Growing” numbers of local kids in care have prompted a charity to call for volunteers in the Geelong region.
The Pyjama Foundation needed help “to break the cycle of disadvantage” for many children in statutory care, the charity said.
The foundation’s volunteers read books to children in care, historically “the lowest-performing group educationally in all of Australia”.
Every children deserved “equitable access to educational opportunities”, said foundation founder and executive director Bronwyn Sheehan.
Reading books to children was the best way to improve their literacy, she said.
“Parents reading books aloud is crucial, but this is a harder task for foster carers as they may have several children in their care, each with a variety of other issues,” Ms Sheehan explained.
“This can lead to a lifetime of being left behind, and that’s where our Pyjama Angels come in. We work to create long lasting relationships with these children and giving them a positive mentor in their lives that can help them dream big!
The foundation’s “Pyjama Angels” were trained are matched with a child to visit weekly, Ms Sheehan said.
“Feedback from our volunteers say that they initially joined The Pyjama Foundation to give back to the community. However, it is the volunteers that receive so much back.”
Melbourne regional co-ordinator Shannon O’Brien said the foundation had a waiting list of children in care “needing their own angel”.
“We’re looking for volunteer Pyjama Angels … willing to dedicate an hour a week to children in our community who need our help.
“We look for long-term volunteers; people who come into this thinking it could be for one-year or more”
Mr O’Brien said more information was available at thepyjamafoundation.com.

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