Slater and Gordon in Coffs Harbour will provide $1,300 next year to fund two full scholarships to the local acting school, the Young Actors Studio, to help school children from low income families develop their acting and drama skills.
Heather McKinnon, Slater and Gordon Practice Group Leader in Coffs Harbour, said the scholarships would go to a local primary school student and a high school student to cover next year’s tuition fees.
"The connection between children being involved in performance and drama and their self worth is well known," Ms McKinnon said.
"Having to stand up and speak in front of a large group of people is one of the things that sends shivers down the spine of most people.
"This is a great opportunity for a couple of young students to go on and develop skills that will help them as they go through school and into adult life," she said.
The scholarships will be available to students whose parents or carers receive some sort of Centrelink payment and would normally not be able to afford the tuition fees.
All applications will be considered by the director of the studio in consultation with a representative from Slater and Gordon.
Belinda Lemair, head of the Young Actors Studio, said the Slater and Gordon scholarships are a great initiative.
"The Young Actors Studio has been operating in Coffs Harbour for the past 12 months and has more than 20 students from across the community.
"Our classes let students develop their individual abilities and personal skills opening up opportunities ranging from becoming part of the performing arts industry to simply learning the skills and teamwork needed to be part of a creative ensemble.
"The Young Actors Studio combines energy, passion and expertise, bringing together the fields of drama, movement, voice, singing and public speaking to build confidence, self esteem and vital communication skills," Ms Lemair said.
Slater and Gordon will write to all local schools to encourage teachers to let their students know about the scholarships.