What do a research fellow, a psychologist and a trainee teacher have in common? They’re all volunteer tutors at our twice-weekly Study Support Program. We also have retired teachers, university students, two engineers and at least one lawyer helping out.
Some of the biggest changes in a small community start with volunteers. In 2017 a local woman named Amran Guleid saw the need for study support for children and started up a regular homework club at the Kensington housing estate. Whilst demand from families was strong, recruiting volunteers was difficult for one person to manage so Amran approached KNH for help. Seeing the need in the community, and the amazing job Amran was doing, Kensington Neighbourhood House was able to obtain funding to expand the homework club and employ Amran as the coordinator.
The Study Support Program now runs two evenings a week and has 45 children enrolled. A team of volunteer tutors work one-to-one or with small groups. Primary school children come along for help with their reading, writing and maths while older students bring their specific subject homework and get help from volunteer “subject experts”.
Our Physics expert, Andrew McCulloch has been volunteering regularly on a Monday evening. “I want to contribute to the community – both locally and at large – and helping to educate people is a great way to do this,” says Andy. As a Kensington resident, Andy enjoys being able to volunteer close to home. “The most gratifying aspect of teaching is when you see things click, often corresponding to a student’s understanding evolving beyond textbook definitions and responses”.
Having moved here from overseas, Nandhini Nehru started volunteering with the Study Support Program as a way to get to know the local community. “It is an absolute delight to work with the kids and be involved with this program,” says Nandy.
Teacher trainee Sofia Jasek started volunteering as a way to gain experience and has found she loves: “How welcoming and friendly the children are. Getting to work together with friends, siblings and family members across age groups feels like a unique experience.”
For retired teacher Peter De Jong, volunteering as a tutor is a way to stay involved in education. “I enjoy the ability to share some fun and humour and appreciate their thirst for knowledge.”
As for the kids, they love having a chance to show off newly acquired skills and get help with trickier work. Grade 3 student Rawda Hersi has been part of the Study Support Program for several months. When asked why she keeps attending, Rawda relpies, “Because you get to learn more information and you get more help instead of having to do it all by yourself.”
Thanks to our fantastic team of volunteers, Rawda and her friends know that they never have to tackle homework “all by themselves” and feel supported and encouraged to continue their learning journeys.
Our Study Support Program runs on Monday and Wednesday evenings 5.30pm – 7.30pm at 94 Ormond Street. We are currently recruiting new volunteers so if you would like to get involved, please contact us on 9376 6366 or email Rebecca Smith – firstname.lastname@example.org