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Puppet show to teach Tasmanian children the meaning of compassion

CHILDREN cancer support organisation Camp Quality has received $7,700 from MyState to deliver a primary school education program in Tasmania using interactive puppet shows to reduce the stigma and myths children associate with cancer.

Camp Quality chief executive officer Simon Rountree said children living with cancer often struggled to fit in at school, “as they feel different and that no one understands them.”

“Through the limited availability of education on cancer for children, myths such as ‘you can catch cancer’ are spread, leading to social isolation, anxiety and even depression for those affected,” Mr Rountree said.

“Our primary school education program teaches students – and even – teachers how to be supportive of someone who has cancer in their life, while also building the confidence of the children who are dealing with it.

“Through the program we deliver a high-energy ‘muppet-style’ puppet show that delivers strong messages around supporting your friends and anti-bullying, as well as providing age appropriate information about cancer to children who desperately need it.

“We estimate around 5,600 Tasmanian primary school children will see this program, leading us one step closer to our vision of giving every Australian child living with cancer the ability to approach their education with confidence, knowing they will be respected and supported.”

The Camp Quality primary school education program is just one of 14 successful grant applicants to benefit from more than $106,000 awarded as part of the 2015 MyState Foundation grant initiative.

MyState Foundation chairman Bob Gordon said the foundation’s mission of nurturing, supporting and advancing the interests of Tasmania’s young people was in line with Camp Quality’s mission to create a better life for every child living with cancer.

“We are proud to be supporting Camp Quality’s primary school education program, helping Tasmanian children living with cancer to carry out their education with happiness and confidence,” he said.

The MyState Foundation has been empowering young Tasmanians in every corner of the state for more than 14 years, delivering in excess of $1.1 million in grants to more than 80 not-for-profit organisations.

Applications for the next round of grants will open in early 2016.

For more information about the MyState Foundation visit www.mystate.com.au/community