School children in the Rockingham area will receive additional support to successfully navigate emotional, social and academic issues thanks to a US$180,000 partnership between EdConnect Australia and the Alcoa Foundation.

Alcoa has agreed to continue supporting the delivery of EdConnect’s ‘Connecting Generations for School Success’ program in the Rockingham, Peel and South West areas for the next three years after first partnering with the organisation in 2016.

The partnership aims to match volunteers with up to 800 students at risk of not achieving their educational potential in at least 15 schools each year.

EdConnect Australia CEO, Gerri Clay, said the partnership would connect about 100 volunteers with the schools, where they would assist teachers and provide one-on-one student support.

Ms Clay said local students would receive academic and social support while older generations would get an opportunity to stay active and connected with their communities. “We are pleased to be associated with the Alcoa Foundation and are looking forward to providing continued support in the Peel region,” says Clay.

Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker said the company was proud to support a program with cross generational benefits. “Supporting our young people to reach their potential is vital but so too is supporting other members of our community,” Mr Parker said. “EdConnect’s programs assist both students and older volunteers, who have so much to offer.”

Noreen Coombes has been an EdConnect Volunteer at Bungaree Primary School for more than 15 years. “I enjoy spending time with my mentees and noticing the pleasure they find in spending time with us.” Noreen said.

EdConnect Australia Rural Liaison Officer for the Peel region Karen Barden urged any community members interested in volunteering, particularly those prepared to mentor a high school student, to contact the not-for-profit organisation.

PHOTO CAPTION: EdConnect volunteer Noreen Coombes

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