11 May 2020
School volunteers more important than ever
As we celebrate National Volunteer Week (18-24 May) and students transition back into the classroom, EdConnect Australia says there has never been a more important time to secure volunteer support in our local schools.
EdConnect Peel Liaison Officer Karen Barden said disruptions to the school year and to all aspects of our day-to-day life mean the extra help volunteers can give students will be more valuable than ever.
While the COVID-19 pandemic means EdConnect volunteers are unable to attend school at present, the not-for-profit organisation is using the time to recruit and upskill volunteers in readiness for their return.
“We’re looking for people to register their interest in volunteering online, so we can ensure they’re screened and trained in time with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions,” Karen said.
“EdConnect volunteers are amazing, they give their time, they are patient and caring and with as little as an hour a week, they make a real difference.
“The disruptions to schooling this year will mean some students are going to need extra one-on-one support."
Screened and trained EdConnect volunteers provide one-on-one support that assists students to develop confidence, resilience and self-esteem, which in turn boosts their engagement and enjoyment at school.
EdConnect is able to deliver its Connecting Generations for School Success Program volunteer program to schools in the Kwinana-Rockingham, Mandurah-Pinjarra and Harvey-Waroona areas through funding from the Alcoa Foundation. Alcoa and EdConnect have been working together since 2016 in order to establish and grow volunteer assistance in local schools.
Last year, around 150 EdConnect volunteers from the Kwinana, Peel and Upper South West region provided close to 250 hours of support each week helping nearly 1,500 students with mentoring or learning support.
“Thanks to our partnership with Alcoa Foundation, EdConnect has been able to transition to a fully online process for new applicants that will hopefully increase our numbers in readiness for the time volunteers can attend school again as we know they will be needed and appreciated,” Karen said.