For the past 9 years, Woolworths has been the major retail partner in MySchool, an innovative social investment programme that involves consumers in raising much-needed funds for South African schools. In late 2007 the South African retailer announced that they were widening the reach of this successful programme to include selected charities and environmental organisations with the launch of MyVillage and MyPlanet. Reporting on its latest financial year from July 2007 to June 2008, Woolworths has announced a R18 million contribution to MySchool, including MyPlanet and MyVillage. This brings Woolworths total contribution to this programme to more than R65 million. Funds are raised when customers swipe their cards with any purchases they make at Woolworths stores countrywide. Cardholders choose the schools, charities or environmental organisations that they would like to support when they sign up with the programme and Woolworths makes a percentage donation of each sale to the beneficiary. The money raised is used to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools and to assist charities in successfully running their initiatives and covering their day-to-day running costs. The Woolworths Trust adds further value to schools through the Making the Difference educational programmes. These highly innovative school programmes enable Woolworths to share its expertise and resources in the areas of nutrition, healthy lifestyles, sustainable living and design with school communities. In the 2008 financial year, Woolworths committed an additional R2 million to expansions and additions to the Making The Difference educational programmes. Launched in 2004, Making The Difference educational programme for primary schools targets Grade 4 learners, their educators and parents through expert teacher resource packs, parent talks and experiential learning outings to Woolworths’ stores, distribution centres and its suppliers. In 2007, the programme expanded its reach to 1500 schools nationally. In line with Woolworths’ Good business journey, the Woolworths Trust has also added two new educator resources to the Making the Difference educational programme for primary schools – “Permaculture” and “Creating a Sustainable South Africa”. Packed with illustrated expertise, classroom resources and interesting activities, these educational guides aim to support and enhance schools’ efforts to improve environmental learning and sustainable practices. Making The Difference Through Design is an inspiring quality education resource guide for Grade 10 -12 educators teaching the Further Education and Training (FET) subject – Design. The programme reaches 500 schools across the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. This year for the first time the Making The Difference Through Design programme hosted a national design competition with participating schools, to promote Design as an exciting and vital 21st Century career opportunity for young South Africans. Brian Frost, Chairman of the Woolworths Trust and Non Executive Director of Woolworths comments: “Ongoing corporate contribution to social development including improving education is critical to the building of a thriving nation. Through our Good business journey, Woolworths has committed itself to goals and programmes that foster sustainability in the country. Our contributions to the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet and Making The Difference educational programmes are important ways for us to meaningfully engage with communities to share Woolworths’ expertise and knowledge of good food, nutrition, healthy living, sustainability and design.”