The Clonard College Homework Club

EdConnect Australia has entered in to a partnership project with Refugee Education Support Program (RESP) at Clonard Secondary College.  RESP improves the educational outcomes of students from migrant and refugee backgrounds. They provide holistic and targeted support to selected schools to strengthen the connections between student achievement and wellbeing.

In Geelong, EdConnect delivers a Learning Support Program for students from refugee and EAL (English as an Additional Language) backgrounds attending the college. Paula Hardy, the Individualised Needs Curriculum Leader at Clonard College says, “The after school program is such a valuable experience for our students. They look forward to every session and very much appreciate the support and assistance they receive.”

Four EdConnect volunteers were recruited, screened and trained at the start of Term 2.  Since the beginning of May 2019, they have been actively supporting students for an hour on Thursdays after school. Their focus, along with the educational requirements, is on promoting wellbeing and life skills.

“The volunteers have connected with the students quickly – it’s lovely to see how comfortable and confident our students are becoming,” says Hardy.

The project aims to contribute to improving students’ English language development and encourage completion of required homework and classroom work task. In addition, volunteers will help increase students’ social connections and confidence in their ability to participate in the classroom.

EdConnect Volunteer and formative student of Clonard Secondary, Tricia O’Keeffe says, “I was keen to connect with young people to assist with their education, even if in a small way.” She states that she looks forward to attending each week. “I am enjoying the interaction with the Clonard girls by helping with research of various homework topics.”

EdConnect Australia provides schools with skilled volunteers to give additional support to students who may face challenges in their academic careers. The team at EdConnect has been training volunteers and connecting them with local schools across Australia for over 20 years. They currently have over 1,300 active volunteers in more than 260 schools across the country.