30 November 2021

Volunteer roles that make an impact

The life changing impact of EdConnect Australia volunteers on local schools and students was on display last week when volunteers attended an annual celebration hosted in partnership with the Alcoa Foundation.

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EdConnect Liaison Officer Karen Barden, EdConnect Australia CEO Gerri Clay and Alcoa Senior Community Partnerships Advisor Sally Fairnie.

This year, more than 160 EdConnect volunteers provided 291 hours of support each week, assisting over 1500 students across the Kwinana, Peel and Upper South West areas through the Connecting Generations for School Success Program funded by the Alcoa Foundation.

The foundation’s support is estimated to have provided $490,000 in value to the local community during 2021 with volunteers providing much needed learning support or mentoring to students at risk of not achieving their educational potential.

“One highlight of the year for the EdConnect program in our area is the range of volunteer roles on offer” EdConnect Liaison Officer Karen Barden explained. “Mentoring, classroom support, reading programs, breakfast club, drumming groups, woodwork, bike club, cooking, craft and much more – there are so many opportunities to make a difference to young people in the local community.”

Speaking at the annual celebration, EdConnect volunteer Winnie Cheong shared her tips for teaching students to read and write. “I have a four-step plan to help students read fluently by the end of the school year, the students love to talk and learn key words to help them write their stories.”

The Alcoa Foundation has partnered with EdConnect since 2016, providing more than $430,000 in funding.  Alcoa Senior Partnership Advisor Sally Fairnie, who attended the celebration, said “it was very encouraging to hear stories from the volunteers about the impact they are having in their local communities, not only on the lives of the students but the volunteers themselves”.

For more information about the EdConnect volunteering opportunities see www.edconnectaustralia.org.au or contact edconnect@edconnect.org.au.