FACES program ACT Australia
In early 2016 GSP ACT partner school St John the Apostle Primary and GSP began discussions about the difficulties the school’s refugee families from South Sudan were experiencing. These difficulties related to a lack of understanding of and integration into, the school community and the educational challenges facing the children and parents, because of their own lack of formal education and the violence and upheaval they endured in South Sudan.
In 2016 GSP trialed a program called Florey Family Literacy in partnership with St John the Apostle Primary School and St Francis Xavier College. The trial’s objectives were to assist families, who have newly arrived in Australia as refugees, to integrate into the school community and to support the education of the children and parents. Please see attached testimonial from two teachers at the schools involved which explains the program and highlights the results achieved – Florey Family Literacy Project Review. In addition, the GSP Blog provided regular insights into the program – available here.
The Parent Buddies program through St John the Apostle Primary School connects parents who have English as a second language with other parents at the school to assist with community involvement and connection. Specifically, each family requiring support would be buddied with a school family willing to volunteer as a Parent Buddy. Introductory Parent Buddy training and the meet-and-greet dinner was held in late 2017.
Mentor Training for Homework Club
There are now 20 student mentors from St Francis Xavier College, ranging in age from 14 – 18, who volunteer and assist the children, at both St John the Apostle and St Francis Xavier, who have English as a second language in Homework Club. These mentors require a good understanding of the strategies used by the school to support the younger students in their reading and writing and how to be an effective mentor. Dr Jann Carroll provided the first mentor training session in late 2017.