Arts Events Leisure | Parenting and Education | People and Places
01/07/2021
Pyjama Angels are a dream come true
by Mornington Peninsula Magazine

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National Pyjama Day isn’t just about being comfy and warm while at work or school. Its focus is to raise awareness of and money for The Pyjama Foundation’s Love of Learning program, which is offered to children in foster care – Australia’s lowest performing educational group. This year it falls on Friday, July 23. However, you’re more than welcome to host your day anytime from July to September. It’s free to register for Pyjama Day, and you’ll receive a free host kit including posters, balloons, bunting, stickers and so much more. All you’re asked to do in exchange is to raise money because every cent counts.

The money will help provide learning skills to more than 1000 children; buy educational resources; provide one-on-one mentoring programs to assist foster kids with reading, writing, and building their confidence; and help provide stable and positive relationships. With more than 48,000 children in foster care across the country, the money raised from National Pyjama Day will go directly towards the training and recruitment of the Pyjama Angels as well as purchasing educational resources to support them.

One of the Mornington Peninsula’s dedicated Pyjama Angels is Maureen, who has provided unwavering support to 11-year-old Camilla – so much so that Camilla has had the confidence to write her own children’s book. The pair met in 2019, and even though the lockdown in 2020 stood in the way, they kept in touch virtually. Camilla’s carer told The Pyjama Foundation that she’d seen a little girl who could get very distracted in a classroom environment completely blossom with Maureen’s help. The carer said Maureen had made learning fun for Camilla and helped her confidence soar.

It was during one of Maureen’s visits that Camilla proudly shared with her a special project she’d been working on: a book. The idea for The Day That Max Left had come to Camilla in the middle of the night, and she hadn’t just written part of the book but the whole thing. This was an impressive feat for a young girl who had previously been hesitant to work on her English, literacy and spelling. Maureen was so proud of Camilla and all she’d achieved that she encouraged Camilla and her foster mum to get the book published.

“I thought Camilla would get a boost from it and be proud of herself,” said Maureen. “I feel she is more confident.”

Sometimes we all need a little bit of encouragement to take the next step. Having someone who believes in your ability and guides you towards success is invaluable.

“Maureen helped with the editing and finding someone to do the illustrations,” said Camilla. “And I kept you going,” added Maureen.

Camilla was thrilled to see her book with illustrations. “It was exciting, and way better than I imagined.”

So pop on your favourite PJs, register for National Pyjama Day at nationalpyjamaday.com and encourage your friends and colleagues to get involved. You can also donate via donation.giveeasy.org/the-pyjama-foundation

KATE SEARS

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