THREE Horsham schools have received a share of almost $30,000 to support volunteer programs for students.
Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty visited Horsham College and Horsham Special School on Monday to announce the funding through the State Government's Advance volunteer program.
Horsham Special School and Horsham College's senior years campus received $9725, with the college's middle years campus receiving $9300.
"The Advance program engages more than 20,000 secondary school students each year to help build partnerships and support young people to give back to their communities," he said.
"Through volunteering programs students develop the skills needed beyond education and into their working lives.
"The Advance funding helps young people develop skills and training across a range sectors, including animal welfare, culture, conservation, emergency services, events, human rights, and sport and recreation, that will help them transition from school to work."
Horsham Special School teacher Gary Lean said seven of the school's students were completing the Bronze level Duke of Edinburgh award through the Advance program.
He said this was the first time the school had officially participated in the award and that the students were working on its community service, physical recreation and skill components.
Mr Lean said students were volunteering with a range of organisations, including a dog kennel and a kindergarten, and were participating in a range of physical pursuits such as basketball and bowling.
He said the Advance program funding gave students opportunities they would not otherwise be exposed to.
"Our adventurous journey involved travelling as a group to Queenscliff where the students completed basic SCUBA diving training," he said.
"The following day they completed a SCUBA diving session in Port Phillip Bay at Pope's Eye Marine National Park where they explored the marine life on offer.
"It was fantastic - the students gained so much confidence from it."
Mr Delahunty said it was great to hear about the students' experiences.
He said Dimboola and Nhill secondary colleges had also benefited from the Advance program, which was part of the State Government's Youth Statement, Engage, Involve, Create initiative to support young people to make a difference in their communities.
He said people could visit www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au for more information.