Whittlesea families are being called on to lend a hand to some of the community’s most disadvantaged children by supporting The Smith Family’s winter appeal.

The children’s charity is aiming to raise $4.1 million nationally by the end of June to put towards its programs to help children stay in school.

Locally, The Smith Family offers support through reading and mentoring programs in four primary and two secondary schools in Lalor and Thomastown.

Learning for Life program co-ordinator Simone Norris said there was a huge demand for the charity’s programs in local schools.

“All of our programs have the overarching aim of keeping kids in school and making sure disadvantage doesn’t make the kids we are working with different in any way,” she said. “There is more demand for our programs than we can meet because our work is education-focused, so we work with the school to meet their needs.”

To donate to the appeal, visit thesmithfamily.com.au/winter