Funding boost helps pupils stay healthy

THE IMB Building Society Community Foundation has injected more than $30,000 to Life Education Illawarra to help more than 5000 primary school students from across the region improve their wellbeing.

The project was officially launched this week at Berkeley West Public School by IMB chief executive Robert Ryan, Life Education Illawarra chairman Michael Aubin and Berkeley West school principal Andrew Attard.

Mr Aubin said the funding would be a huge help.

"We identified there are 21 schools in low socio-economic areas in the Illawarra," he said.

"Normally, as a committee, we raise funds during the year to subsidise the parents. They normally would pay $10, we would put in $5 as a committee. What the IMB has allowed us to do is at those 21 schools ... it is a free visit.

"What happens a lot is ... 20 to 30 per cent of the kids can't go because the parents just can't put in the $5. So now we will be getting 100 per cent attendance in those 21 schools, which is really important."

Children at Berkeley West said they had learnt about health eating and how to stay healthy during the Life Education Van visit.

Mr Ryan said it was not the first time the IMB Community Foundation has supported Life Education.

"The IMB itself is very keen to support youth in the Illawarra, particularly young children," he said.

"Life Education is doing a fantastic job with teaching young children about healthy bodies and lifestyle.

"That is so important in today's society ... IMB is really keen to support initiatives that are around children in the Illawarra."

Mr Ryan said the annual grants gave much-needed assistance to worthwhile local projects.

The next round of funding will be announced soon and applications for next year open in November.

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