Local students benefit from volunteer support

EdConnect volunteers Tom Oversby and Deanna Meredith, volunteer coordinator Carol McMeikan with volunteers John Walsh and Graham Calley. Photo: supplied
EdConnect volunteers Tom Oversby and Deanna Meredith, volunteer coordinator Carol McMeikan with volunteers John Walsh and Graham Calley. Photo: supplied

The EdConnect Australia school volunteer program connects generations in Bridgetown and Boyup Brook and positively impacts students and volunteers. 

The program has volunteers visit schools to be a mentor for the students, helping them with valuable literacy and numerously skills, as well as equipping young people with the life skills they need.

The latest EdConnect impact statement indicated that 99 percent of students participating in the program have improved self-esteem and confidence and 96 percent have improved in literacy.

Bridgetown High school principal Judith Dadson said they appreciate the involvement of the mentors within their school.  

“I definitely agree that students working with a mentor show increased confidence and self-esteem. It is fantastic that EdConnect supports schools through sourcing such amazing volunteers.”

EdConnect Bridgetown volunteer Pauline Puzio runs a lunchtime craft group and said the group was so popular she ccould see up to 45 students in one session.

“The children are having fun, especially when they don’t know what they are doing the next week and being able to take home what they make is great,” she said. 

Boyup Brook District High School principal Bernard Beatty said the program had been running at their school since 2002. 

“This long-standing program in our school has significantly improved a number of our student's school lives and the school volunteers involved can rightly be extremely proud of the difference they have made for our school and the Boyup Brook community. “We look forward to the continuing support, ” he said. 

EdConnect Boyup Brook volunteer Graham Calley said contact with the school, the students and the ability to assist hardworking teachers makes the role worthwhile. 

“My main achievement is getting my student to smile,” he said.

EdConnect Australia rural liaison officer Karen Barden said there has been a great response from the Boyup Brook and Bridgetown communities. 

“We currently have seven EdConnect volunteers assisting Boyup Brook District High School and three assisting students in Bridgetown. Any community members interested in volunteering contact me,” she said.