Truganina South Primary School is the first school in Wyndham to sign up for a program to connect pupils with volunteers who support the children’s education and wellbeing.
Not-for-profit organisation EdConnect is rolling out the program – which is funded by the state government – across the Wyndham, Melton and Hume municipalities.
Under the initiative, volunteers help pupils to develop their numeracy, reading or science skills. The volunteers also help out around schools, including in the canteen, garden and library.
They undergo a screening process, as well as training, to ensure they can work with both primary and secondary school students.
Truganina South Primary School principal Linda Danese said teachers and staff were “excited and looking forward to having this program in our school”.
“We have some children who are at risk of becoming disengaged and this program will really help in keeping them involved,” Ms Danese said.
EdConnect’s liaison officer Rhonda Velkovski said almost two thirds of the school volunteers were aged over 55 years old.
“We are harnessing the wisdom and skills of elder generations and … young people are thriving,” she said.
“One hundred per cent of our schools have reported the improvement of student self-esteem and confidence, while 91 per cent of at-risk students have improved literacy and 87 per cent of students have improved in numeracy.”
Ms Velkovski said schools can contact EdConnect about the volunteering program. Details: www.edconnectaustralia.org.au, firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800 668 550.