A VERY satisfying crunch
13 May 2020
We’ve been crunching some numbers and have discovered some pretty amazing things about the work we’ve been doing over the last year. We had to share!
In 2019 we counted:
5,935 student enrolments (ages 7-17)
48% from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
98% from lower socioeconomic communities
55% girls and 45% boys
28,147 hours students spent in workshops with us
6.5 hours of dedicated writing time, on average, per student
All of that means 2019 was our biggest year ever. It also means that we’re doing a great job of achieving what we set out to do every week – bringing engaging, inspiring, fun, life-changing creative writing programs to many thousands of the marginalised kids who need them most.
When we began expanding into Western Sydney, and opened Story Factory Parramatta, our aim was to double our annual reach and impact within three years. In both enrolments (reach) and student hours (impacts) we have done exactly that. That’s a pretty extraordinary achievement in anyone’s book. And it feels pretty fantastic.
In a typical term we’re now working with as many as 1,400 children and teenagers in our workshops, giving them opportunities to let their imaginations soar, building their writing confidence and helping them find their voice. The feedback from the teachers who see them in class every day tells us that that investment is making a real difference, increasing their engagement and improving learning outcomes over time.
In Term Two – strange and unusual as it will be for all young people – student numbers and engagement levels will likely end up looking a little different.
But what we know for sure is that all our students need us more than ever. Independent reports are saying that there is a very real risk of significant learning gaps for as many as 50% of kids because of time away from the classroom this year. And they say it’s vital that disadvantaged kids, those most at risk of falling behind, are given access to the extra supports that will keep them connected, and keep them learning.
That’s where we come in. Now, and in that vital period when things start returning to normal, we’ll be there to help them recover lost ground, rebuild their literacy and motivation to learn, and stick with their education.
We’re planning for when we’re seeing at least 1,500 students a term again, and growing that number even higher. What a very satisfying crunch that will be too.