Friday, September 28, 2007

Halloween Lucky Dip

In some countries, this time of year is full of the excitement of planning for Halloween. Kids and parents in the US love to dress up, decorate the house, have parties and, best of all, go trick or treating to gather sweet treats from neighbours.

At the School of St Jude this time of year is just as busy and exciting. It is time to find 170 kids who will enter the School in 2008.

School sign changes from 'No Vacancy' to 'Enrolling now'

For the next few weeks there will be literally thousands of kids lined up at the School every Friday, vying for one of the 170 new places. Here’s a photo from a couple of years ago when 1,500 kids came each week to do the entrance exam.

Friday testing for enrolment

This year the school expect over 3000. The School’s good reputation ensures every parent wants their child in the school.

With these numbers there is a less than 1% chance that an applicant will be successful. The child must be in the top 10% of their government school Grade 1 or Kinder and they must be from a very, very poor family. Also, the School takes only one child per family so that as many families as possible can benefit.

The School does the interviews every Friday from September to December – it takes that long as they get around 20 successful applicants per week. Children can come to the interviews as many times as they want because if they eventually pass then they deserve to be in the School through sheer persistence – determination, drive and ambition is just as important as being bright.

Basically, The School of St Jude exists to give those children who have the aptitude and right attitude the chance of high quality education for free. At a 1% chance of being accepted into the school, families who are successful have done better than a Halloween Lucky Dip – they have won the jackpot!

Read more about this year's selection process and see photos of the kids.

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