Village calls for volunteers

June 02, 2017

Bicultural worker Muzghan Qazikhil, student Ali Heidari and volunteer Maureen Ball work together to improve Ali's literacy skills.

A reading group aiming to boost the literacy skills of young new arrivals to Australia is seeking more volunteers.

Save the Children’s It Takes a Village program runs every Wednesday afternoon at Shepparton’s St Georges Rd Primary School’s library.

Program educator Jacquie Monk said up to 10 newly-arrived children with little to no English knowledge could benefit from the year-long program, if only there were more volunteers.

‘‘The outcomes are to improve their literacy skills in all areas of speaking, reading and writing,’’ Mrs Monk said.

The program works closely with the school’s language centre, which identifies students in need of literacy support.

‘‘There’s a bit of a waiting list to get in, that’s why we’re looking for some new volunteers for the program,’’ Mrs Monk said.

Volunteers work one-on-one with students from 3.30pm, working on a range of literacy skills in the two-hour sessions each week.

Those wanting to volunteer must fill out an application, provide a Working with Children Check and undertake a training session.

‘‘We would like 12 to 13 volunteers because not everyone can attend every week, so more volunteers than students would be fantastic,’’ Mrs Monk said.

‘‘This is the perfect way to give back to the community.’’

Mrs Monk said volunteers could be of all ages and come from a variety of backgrounds including students, retirees or workers with spare time at night.

An information session for potential volunteers will be held on Tuesday, June 13. For more information about the session or how to volunteer, contact Ros or Alice by phoning 58230400 or emailing rosyln.johnson@

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