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Max e-Grants make school life better for disadvantaged kids

The programme, developed in conjunction with Barnardos – New Zealand’s leading children’s charity, is now open for its latest round of grants until Friday September 29.

Max e-Grants is an OfficeMax initiative providing financial support and essential education-related items to children in need, aged four to 18. Schools, kindergartens and day care centres can nominate disadvantaged kids for grants of up to $5,000. 

OfficeMax New Zealand’s General Manager of Education, Blair Horsfall, says the Max e-Grants programme is designed to help less fortunate children escape the long-term effects of feeling isolated from their peers.

“Some families might not be able to afford three good meals a day or to have heating in their homes, so it stands to reason that books, uniforms or paying for extra school activities might not be top priority,” he said.

“Receiving a Max e-Grant at least takes the pressure off the family to provide what we think of as essential educational items – books, pens, school uniforms, swimming lessons, even school camps.

“It allows students to be a part of the school community – anything less can set back learning and have lasting consequences when it comes to life skills, confidence and self-esteem.”

During the past six years, grants totalling $700,000 have supported the educational goals of more than 12,500 Kiwi kids, thanks to both long-standing and new programme sponsors: Gold sponsors Brother, Croxley and OfficeMax; Silver sponsor Acco Brands; and Bronze sponsors Acme, Bic, Eden Office, Frankco & Simon Furniture, Energizer, Fresh Office, Precision by Dexion and Newell Brands.

This year, to date, 32 per cent of the grant money has gone towards school supplies and equipment, 16 per cent to school and sports uniforms, 45 per cent on school excursions and camps, and the remaining seven per centon other needs and extracurricular activities.

A priority for the programme is to support children living in isolated rural and remote areas, and recently settled refugee or migrant communities.


* From the 2016 Child Poverty Monitor, run by the Office of the Children's Commissioner, the New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service, JR McKenzie Trust and Otago University


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