Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Tue 17 Jul 2012



The Centralian advocate Tue 17 Jul 2012


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs


v. 66 no. 15

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

24 NT NEWS SPECIAL FEATURE. Tuesday, July 17, 2012. www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 1 7 -J U L -2 0 1 2 P A G E : 2 4 C O L O R : C M Y K GEMS NT ENRICHING STUDENTS EXPERIENCES SUPPORTING EVERY CHILD, EVERY DAY TO GO TO SCHOOL TEKEISHA THOMAS Year 7 student Dripstone Middle School I have been in the GEMS NT Girls Academy since the beginning of the year. I like the academy because we do after school trainings for touch football and basketball. I like the sports because we play against other schools like Sanderson and Nightcliff middle schools. I also get to learn about my culture and meet other girls and learn about their culture too. The ladies help me stay calm and focused at school. Its a great program. BELOW: Year 7 student Tekeisha Thomas A PROGRAM that offers activities and support for girls is helping to develop friendships, build confi dence and a sense of purpose for going to school. More than 180 girls are involved in the Girls Engagement Mentoring and Support (GEMS) program across Darwin. Launched at Sanderson Middle School, it has been underway at Nightcliff Middle School since late last year. Dripstone Middle School and Casuarina Senior College started the program this year. GEMS NT Coordinator Dahlia Seden said the program was helping to get students coming back to school. The aim is to identify those girls, especially Indigenous girls, who need support and work out what their needs are to make coming to school easier, Ms Seden said. Activities are offered twice a week outside of school hours. There is also a homework centre three days a week. Activities include a range of sports, fi tness classes, personal development, health education, reward breakfasts for high attendance, dancing, cultural camps, leadership and wellbeing programs to develop resilience and confi dence. Year 9 student Tamika Pollard has joined the GEMS NT program at Sanderson Middle School. I like it because if offers activities for girls, Tamika said. Activities like sport, rewards trips and it also provides a place to chill. I gain new sports skills and make more friends. It gives me confi dence in school to attend and supports me with my academic work. The ultimate goal of GEMS NT is to help engage students in learning and to see more students graduate with a Northern Territory Certifi cate of Education and Training. The NT Government has committed $900,000 per year to roll out girls programs across the Territory. The Department of Education and Training introduced a policy in 2010 to address student enrolment, attendance and participation across the Northern Territory. The policy is called Every Child, Every Day. The aim is to work with schools, families, communities and other agencies to provide every child with access to a quality education and life choices. Every Child Every Day sets targets and details key strategies to improve the participation of young people in education. Supporting the initiative, the Territory Government has also committed a record $950 million for schools, quality teachers and training to help more Territorians fi nd jobs and to reach Territory 2030 goals. A sound education can contribute to better health outcomes, increased employment opportunities, and improved productivity levels. Sending children to school, fi rst and foremost, is the responsibility of parents and families. Parents have to get their kids to school every single day. School attendance is compulsory in the Northern Territory and there are fi nes if children do not attend school regularly, or are not enrolled. There are a number of programs offered under Every Child Every Day to help increase attendance by engaging students. Some of these programs include the Extended School Year, Beyond Jobs Guarantee, Clontarf and Sporting Chance Academies, Girls Engagement Mentoring and Support (GEMS) and Frequent Attender Programs. ABOVE: GEMS NT offers a range of programs to girls as an incentive to improve attendance. RIGHT: Sanderson Middle School Year 9 student Tamika Pollard ADVERTISING FEATURE