Thank You Thursday: Connecting through Education

School life is challenging enough for some students, and with today’s changing family circumstances, cultural differences, socio-economic disadvantages and social media, many more students are struggling. Literacy and numeracy are must-have basic skills to help us get through everyday life.

Beginning in Western Australia in 1996, The School Volunteer Program started up and operated for over 20 years. It expanded across the states to Victoria and New South Wales under different names. However, in 2015 it had a rebrand and is now known as EdConnect.

This charity plays a vital role in recruiting and training volunteers with skills needed to mentor, support and help make a difference to at-risk young people. These volunteers (mainly older generations) equip the youngsters with the life skills they will need themselves to reach their full potential.

EdConnect inspires older generations to inspire the next, giving the whole community a sense of worth. With a mission to prepare and connect intergenerational volunteers with disadvantaged or at-risk young people for education success and personal wellbeing, EdConnect was awarded Volunteering WA Organisation of the Year in 2018.

This innovative organisation connects three important groups in the community; schools, students and volunteers, in a model that meets the needs of each group and creates positive impacts on various levels.

The results participating schools are seeing in students involved in the program are remarkable, with reports of 99% reduction in disruptive behaviour and improved social skills, as well as 95% improved literacy and 92% improved numeracy outcomes.

Volunteers are feeling more connected to their community, with reports of 98% improvements in mental health and wellbeing and 85% better physical health.

Today 1,300 EdConnect volunteers are helping 6,400 young people across 230 schools to realise their potential not only in school but in society and their future life.

This Thank You Thursday, we say a big thanks to all the teachers and volunteers working to improve the education and lives of some of our most needy students.

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.