Wakakirri has announced the recipients of its 2018 Scholarships. Ten schools have been funded to bring dance and drama productions to life for the 2018 national Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge.

Not-for-profit Wakakirri strives to make participation in the performing arts as accessible as possible and the Wakakirri Donation Program was established to assist schools from disadvantaged communities.

Grovelands Primary School in Perth’s south-east will be participating in Wakakirri for the first time with the assistance of funding. Principal Mark Bradshaw said that the school hopes to use the program to increase student attendance, only 61% of students currently attend school regularly.

“We want to embrace our students’ passion for music and dance in the hope that we can engage more students and provide them with opportunities to succeed. It will also pave the way for students wanting to study performing arts at one the specialist programs at our local high schools,” he said.

“We have many students who have low self-esteem and suffer from anxiety and depression. We feel that getting students involved in group projects that connect them with the community will greatly benefit their mental health and sense of self-worth.”

Elizabeth South Primary School in South Australia also believes that the Wakakirri funds will have a positive effect on students’ wellbeing. “Many of our students are living with complex social issues that impact on their experience of childhood and can cause chronic stress and trauma. We are dedicated to ensuring we provide an environment that offers our students experiences that extend their knowledge of the world,” said Principal Steve Clarke.

“Opportunities such as being part of the Wakakirri team enable our students to develop a greater sense of belonging and increase their self-esteem.”

Other schools receiving funding this year include Wanganui Park Secondary College, Churchill Primary School, Hallam Primary School and Albanvale Primary in Victoria, Clovelly Park Primary, Blyth Primary School and Murray Bridge South Primary School in South Australia; and Tarro Public School in New South Wales.

To find out how to make a tax-deductible donation to support disadvantaged schools to participate in the arts, visit www.wakakirri.com/donate/