Back in March we reported on our growing Study Support Program – a homework club for local children from Prep to Year 10. Fast forward six months and we found ourselves at the Multicultural Youth Education Awards, being recognised for best practice in out-of-school-hours learning support.
Each year, the Centre for Multicultural Youth presents the MY Education Awards. These awards recognise excellence and showcase the outstanding contributions made by organisations, students, volunteers, schools and out-of-school-hours learning support programs throughout Victoria. The awards are judged by an independent panel of experts chaired by a representative from the Department of Education and Training.
This year, we were thrilled to be awarded the Runner Up prize in the “Community Based Out-Of-School-Hours Learning Support Program” category. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but essentially recognises community run programs that use innovative approaches to support school students from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Some of the methods we use to make our Study Support Program the best it can be include:
- Running the program in the Kensington housing estate so that families can access it easily.
- Having mobile WiFi and laptops so that students can connect to their school portals and do research.
- Aiming to have a ratio of at least one volunteer for every two children so that everyone gets appropriate assistance as they need it.
- Running a “Fun Club” for participants under 7 years old. The little ones practice their reading with volunteers but then move into a separate area for stories, games and educational activities.
- Perhaps most importantly, we employ a tri-lingual Coordinator to liaise with parents and ensure the voices of all family members are heard. Amran Guleid does an amazing job and was very pleased to receive our award. She is pictured here with Parliamentary Secretary for Schools, Tim Richardson.
Our Study Support Program is now attended by 46 children over 2 evenings a week. We have around 24 volunteers, including subject specialist for high school maths and sciences. Both children and parents really appreciate the time, space and individual attention offered by the program. In a recent student survey, 90% of respondents said that they thought their reading, writing and spelling had improved since attending Study Support. As one of our 15 year old participants said: “I get amazing help with my homework. You guys are spot on! Nothing needs to be changed.”
We are looking forward to continuing the Study Support Program in 2020. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer tutor, please contact Rebecca Smith on 9376 6366 or email: Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org