Education Support Program
Spectrum Homework Support Program (SHSP) provides disadvantaged primary to high school students from refugee backgrounds with ongoing homework support in a supportive atmosphere. The SHSP helps students to improve performance and engagement at school and assist in their settlement and integration into Australian society. An average of 55 primary and secondary students are supported per week during two evening sessions, with volunteer tutors recruited and supported to provide study assistance through small group and one-on-one sessions.
Parental Mentoring and Engagement component helps newly-arrived parents to Australia to understand the Australian schooling system and be involved in the process of education of their children. Information sessions on different aspects of the education system in Australia are organized for these parents. They are also provided with English and computer skills to enable them to communicate with the schools. SHSP pilots the establishment of peer support options at 3 schools - Preston Girls SC, Reservoir District SC William Ruthven SC, enabling a greater role for parents in the education of their children. Parents currently involved in their respective school communities were recruited and trained to become peer mentors, and matched with identified parents of Homework Club students.
A big thank you to all the volunteer tutors of the Spectrum Education Support Program. Your dedication is invaluable and we appreciate your handwork and time in improving the literacy outcomes for newly arrived youths. As part of adopting a holistic approach to achieve this goal, this involves:
1. Increasing the ability of refugee youth to undertake their school studies/homework requirements and enhance numeracy and literacy skills;
2. Providing students with a quiet environment conducive to study where they can ask questions and receive immediate support;
3. Enhancing the ability of parents to support their child’s education; understand education pathways in Australia, and build on their parenting skills; &
4. Contributing to social inclusion by facilitating positive connections between newly arrived communities and broader Australian community (school/tutor networks, as well as a proposed new mentoring program between established and newly arrived parents).
The club provides a welcoming, safe and social space where students, tutors and parents can engage with each other positively in a learning environment. For some of the students, the Spectrum Education Support Program may provide them with their first positive learning experience since arriving in Australia.
In addition to learning support, the club provides a bridge between members of the community in Melbourne’s north. Students, parents and tutors work together in a social and positive space – making meaningful connections with each other and enabling stereotypes and fears to be challenged and social connectedness to be developed.
The Spectrum MRC’s Education Support Program is funded by Newsboys Foundation, Collier Charitable Fund and Department of Social Services.
Contact Samuel Sakama
Coordinator – Spectrum Homework Support Program
Phone (03) 94960237