Kemp, Dugandzic do homework with The Smith Family

Matthew Kemp and Mate Dugandzic helped Melbourne Victory charity partner The Smith Family launch its 2009 Christmas Appeal with a visit to the Atherton Gardens Homework Support Program in Fitzroy last week.

Matthew Kemp and Mate Dugandzic helped Melbourne Victory charity partner The Smith Family launch its 2009 Christmas Appeal with a visit to the Atherton Gardens Homework Support Program in Fitzroy last week.

With up to 100 children in attendance, the players were reminded of their own school days when they sat down to assist children with their English and math homework.

The Smith Family coordinates the Atherton Gardens Homework Support Program, which offers children living in the Atherton Gardens public housing estate a welcoming place to complete their homework, with help from a large team of volunteers.

The program was set up more than six years ago by parents who were concerned their own limited English language skills and disrupted education would affect their children.

"Assisting with the Homework Support Program was an eye-opening experience," Kemp said.

"To know that every week these kids can come after school for free assistance with their education in such a safe and welcoming environment is really encouraging.

"The kids were so welcoming and seemed to be genuinely enjoying completing their homework. It makes us realise how important it is to support the education of kids of all ages."

The Smith Family has been instrumental in developing the club, bringing in extra volunteers from neighbouring schools and nearby Australian Catholic University to support the children.

The Smith Family hopes to raise $4.5 million to support the education of disadvantaged children across Australia.

To donate to the appeal, call 1800 024 069 or follow the links at thesmithfamily.com.au.

Kemp urged Melbourne Victory supporters and members to donate to The Smith Family's Christmas Appeal.

"As a Melbourne Victory player it is great to be able to give back to the community, even though it is in such a small way. The Smith Family and its volunteers should be commended for their crucial work in supporting the education of young Australians."