Re­port card out­stand­ing

Learn­ing Ground ‘finest ex­am­ple’ of pro­gram help­ing young peo­ple de­velop skills

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Danielle Jarvis

A WESTERN Sydney Univer­sity study has con­cluded that Mt Druitt Learn­ing Ground is an “out­stand­ing” pro­gram.

A re­search team re­leased the find­ings of its six-month study at a lunch at Rooty Hill RSL last Tues­day.

The find­ings fol­low a me­dia re­port high­light­ing two Mt Druitt women as the case study for an In­vest­ing In Youth re­port pub­lished by the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment.

The re­port re­vealed 580,000 Aus­tralians aged 15 to 29 were “not in em­ploy­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing”.

The two women, aged 21 and 17, were quoted as say­ing they would rather be “dead than work” and as­pired to “never get a job”.

The Mt Druitt Learn­ing Ground pro­gram, run by Chain Re­ac­tion Foun­da­tion, of­fers be­havioural change man­age­ment and ed­u­ca­tional help to dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren and their fam­i­lies. “They said that it’s the finest ex­am­ple they have found ... of so­cial and emo­tional lit­er­acy,” Chain Re­ac­tion pres­i­dent Mar­garet Bell said.

“It’s very suc­cess­ful in build­ing self-re­spect and self-es­teem. The out­comes were very sur­pris­ing.”

The pro­gram, which has been op­er­at­ing out of Bidwill for about 13 years, equips young peo­ple with the skills to achieve a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion and life ex­pe­ri­ence.

Learn­ing Ground not only helps trou­bled young peo­ple han­dle bul­ly­ing, crit­i­cism, anger and so­cial en­vi­ron­ments but also works with their fam­i­lies to form a solid sup­port net­work.

While the two Mt Druitt girls were de­scribed as “self­ish and hap­pily job­less”, Ms Bell said her ex­pe­ri­ence with young peo­ple in Mt Druitt was the op­po­site.

It’s very suc­cess­ful in build­ing self-re­spect and self-es­teem Mar­garet Bell

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