St John’s Homework Club
This year St John’s students have been participating in Homework Club at the Inala Community House. Students volunteer time to help the refugee and migrant community with homework and other activities to enhance their learning experiences. Mr Milton Dick MP, attended the event to congratulate students and Mr McCrohon on their outstanding work over the past year. To highlight some of the wonderful work of our students , Year Nine student Jake Fordham managed to raise over $150 for the club and provided gifts that were distributed amongst the children that consisted of books, pens, rulers, erasers, highlighters, pencil cases etc.
A message from ICH Homework Club Manager Anushka:
“When working with the refugee and the migrant community, Inala Community House (ICH) identified that there were language barriers for parents that did not have sufficient English knowledge to support their children who were now attending local schools. Most parents are enrolled in TAFE and were still learning to read and write themselves. Although they want their children to succeed academically, they do not have the capacity to help them. Homework club was established in 2011 to address that need.
Homework club targets our CALD community; however we would not turn away any child who needed assistance with their homework. ICH works with adult volunteers, one of whom is a retired teacher and St John’s ‘Head of Service Learning’, Mr Andrew McCrohon. Through the generous support of the St John’s Anglican College, attending high school students volunteer as well.
We have a steady attendance of around 20 students coming weekly. Other than completing homework, in 2017 we have introduced other activities to enhance their learning experience. Through these activities we are seeing more students wanting to read and do extra worksheets. We are also conducting small science experiments and physical activities upon completion of school assigned homework. Our St John’s volunteers conduct story time and organise the science experiments; and our students have become more engaged through this interaction. “Our primary objective is still the completion of homework. The volunteers and I are always brainstorming new and exciting ideas to inspire the children and encourage a more wholesome learning experience…” said ‘ICH Homework Club’ Coordinator, Anushka Abeyewardene.
It is also important to note: ‘ICH Homework Club’ students come from refugee families, and often are facing various other settlement challenges. As a result, ICH Homework Club has become not only a source of academic support based on Australian schooling system, but also a nurturing network of positive relationships between students, parents and the wider community. “