Expanding Support For Victorian Students

More schools will have access to volunteers to support students after the Andrews Labor Government delivered $300,000 to expand EdConnect – a program that connects young people with volunteer mentors to provide extra help.

Minister for Education James Merlino today visited Bayside College P-12 in Williamstown to meet EdConnect mentors and their student mentees, and see firsthand the great work they do.

At Bayside College a range of volunteers are engaged in learning support, including a retired industrial chemist who motivates students in science and a nurse who supports Year 9 boys with their literacy skills.

The Labor Government’s $300,000 investment will mean EdConnect can expand into north-west Victoria, allowing it to help more students through its teaching and mentoring programs.

The funding will result in EdConnect doubling its pool of Victorian volunteers as part of the expansion, from 200 to 400 over the next three years. This means EdConnect will be able to operate in 50 more schools, building on the 45 schools the organisation already has volunteers working in.

The funding will also help EdConnect hire staff dedicated to finding additional corporate sponsorship and philanthropic funding so the program can become self-sustaining.

The organisation, which currently has around 200 volunteers, connects volunteers with young people who might need extra support – inspiring the older generation to inspire the next.

At Bayside College a range of volunteers are engaged in learning support, including a retired industrial chemist who motivates students in science and a nurse who supports Year 9 boys with their literacy skills.

At any one time EdConnect has more than 1300 volunteers active in more than 260 schools across Australia, providing academic and social support to students who might otherwise struggle to reach their potential.

The volunteers help with reading and numeracy, English language, conversation and comprehension, library skills, kitchen garden programs, one-to-one mentoring, general classroom help, breakfast and other clubs, and support in arts, music and sport.

Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We’re building the Education State – ensuring every student can develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life. Groups such as EdConnect are helping to make that happen with the generous support of so many volunteers who contribute so much to our society.”

Quote attributable to Member for Williamstown Wade Noonan

“Every child deserves the opportunity to get a fantastic education at a great local school. Supporting programs like this is a key aspect in making that happen.”