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Community Engagement Volunteering Form
Being a Volunteer at St Lucy’s School
St Lucy’s is fortunate in being supported by a large number of volunteers who are recruited from the community by the Development Office. The volunteers provide invaluable support for St Lucy’s programs by giving generously of their free time. Volunteers are as integral to the St Lucy’s community as the students, staff and parents.
St Lucy’s volunteers are like family and without them we couldn’t achieve what we do. Our volunteers receive ongoing training and support to ensure their experience is a rewarding one.
“For the past year and a half, I have worked as a volunteer on the MultiLit Reading Programme at St Lucy’s. Initially, I offered to work on the course in order to help out. However, I think what I’ve been able to give over time has been more than balanced by what I have gained from the experience. Watching the students improve their literacy skills and begin to enjoy their reading has certainly been very gratifying. But ultimately, one of the most positive outcomes is the mutual sense of belonging that begins develop between the teacher and the children.” – Patrick Sweeney
Volunteering for our Reading Tutor Program
At St Lucy’s School we run an Intensive Reading Program that uses the well researched methods and resources of the Macquarie MULTILIT Program, combined with our own well tried and researched techniques for teaching the skills and processes necessary to become a successful reader.
Out Reading Tutor program is held 3 mornings a week and during this time around 35 students are withdrawn from their classroom groups to attend an intensive, one to one, reading session, that focus on the skills necessary for reading – sight words and word attack skills, as well as the reinforced reading process, giving the students an opportunity to put these skills into practice.
This program is supervised by an experienced Classroom Teacher and implemented using the expertise of a large group of volunteers that come from our local North Shore community, friends and family of students who attend the school and parents of our students.
The volunteers are well trained as part of their induction into the reading program. They also receive ongoing training, that is generated directly from the needs of the students, the results we see and the skills required to work closely and intensely with our students in their learning process.
To be a one on one tutor to our students, you would need to be enthusiastic about learning, patient, flexible and open to becoming part of the students’ very different and varied learning styles. You would need to be committed to your time slot – our volunteers give 1.5 hours a week – from 9.30-11am Monday, Tuesday or Thursday.
The volunteer reading tutor program has become a big part of our school community. It has now been running for 7 years, always generating incredible results and gains in student skill and learning. It is also a wonderful community to be a part of, our volunteers support and share ideas and knowledge with one another, and this time together not only assists our students, but adds a meaningful dimension to their own lives in giving each week.
“When I retired from mainstream teaching after thirty odd years I was looking to do some volunteer work with children. An advertisement appeared in our local newspaper for people to help the students at St Lucy’s so I applied and had some training. Having done some specialist reading tutoring I opted for the Multi-lit program. For months I thought I was a total failure as I couldn’t achieve the progress I previously had with mainstream students or develop the same rapport.
Eventually however I began to relax and enjoy the naivity of these special students. The skills and progress they achieve are celebrated by their caring teachers who bring great optimism and enthusiasm with them each day. The tone set by Lisa Grimmond as she calmly manages both students and volunteer alike is admirable and results in an atmosphere of shared co-operation and good will. I look forward now to Tuesday mornings and my interaction with everyone I encounter at St Lucy’s. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of such a worthwhile learning environment.” – Joan Hayllar
Volunteering for the Mathematics with Meaning Program
St Lucy’s dynamic and innovative Mathematics with Meaning Program was established in 2015. It was developed and implemented into the St Lucy’s school community, as a result of seeing the successful development of skills that stemmed from our Reading Tutor Program, as well as seeing the perceived need for a new and creative way to assist with teaching our students Mathematic in a meaningful way.
To develop skills in the area of Mathematics, our students require explicit and direct instruction. Providing this in a one to one learning session, assists in the individual tailoring of a program that suits the needs of each student and in the development and monitoring of these new Mathematics skills.
The Mathematics with Meaning program, lives up to its name, teaching the students the Mathematics skills needed to be numerate, in context of how they will use them. They use money to count in multiples; they use measuring devices, bus numbers, clocks and street addresses to learn about number in their environment. They apply all number to a context in which it can be used.
This program is facilitated by a Classroom teacher, who trains a team of volunteers to administer the programs written for each student. The volunteers are trained at their induction and are ongoing trained based on the skills and strategies required for each program being delivered.
Mathematics with Meaning Volunteers assist with the program for 1.5 hours a week, from 11.30am -1pm, Monday, Tuesday or Thursday.
Volunteers would need to love the processes involved in learning; enjoy applying what we automatically know about number to a real life context for our students; and be patient, flexible and open to the students’ learning needs.
These sessions are fun, dynamic and very hands on. The students love them and so do our volunteers!
“I have found volunteering at St. Lucy’s over the past five years to be inspirational and an absolute tonic for the spirit. The environment is one of caring and the overall dedication of the staff and other volunteers exceptional. It has been wonderful to watch and be even a small part of the development of the children’s reading skills in the Multilit programme and that in itself provides an inner sense of well being.” – Lindy Perks
Find Out More
St Lucy’s School
21 Cleveland Street
Wahroonga NSW 2076