Narooma District Educational Support Committee

Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust has an exciting new Committee

Our EGS Trust board has a new committee of committed local people who are taking a shared hope and vision forward under the auspices of our Trust. Narooma District Educational Support Committee held their first meeting last week and appointed Tony Agnew as their Chairperson. Committee members are Kevin Bird, Steve Payne, Tony Agnew, Linda Tucker, Sean Burke (EGS Director) and Angela Young (EGS Associate Member). The committee will have up to eight members. We extend to them our sincere congratulations, appreciation and ongoing support.

Their committee member, Kevin Bird has written this report.

Narooma District Educational Support Committee

Following the outcome of the Voice Referendum in 2023, the Narooma and District Community ‘Yes’ Volunteers decided rather than fade into the mist that discussion was needed on how the energy and empathy of the Volunteers could be utilised in the future.

At that time, community awareness was rising on the flow-on issues facing communities following the Covid 19 2020 / 2021 shutdowns and the closure of schools in favour of ‘Home Schooling’.

Evidence based data was starting to show the issue of low levels of literacy and numeracy competencies, poor social and behavioural skills of young people, school attendance and attending refusal now within the school environment.

It was perceived that the skills, backgrounds, and life experiences of many of the ‘retiree Community’ resident in the Narooma District, might be utilised as Community Volunteers (Refer – ABS 2021 Census Community Profile for Post Code 2546) as many had wished to be involved with young people with identified Literacy & Numeracy competency challenges to be ‘student mentors / support’ with a focus on enhancing individual students Lit/Num competency levels.

Initial discussions with Executive staff at Narooma High School were very supportive and embraced the concept and, if the proposal materialises, they would provide training for Community Volunteers, identify students requiring Lit / Num support and oversight the program once imbedded within the school. The Executive staff have provided a strong ‘Letter of Support’ for the program.

Discussions with the Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust Board resulted in the formation of the ‘Narooma District Education Support Volunteers’ as associate members of the Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust.

Under the guidance and auspice of the Trust’s Board members, a funding submission has been submitted to the Federal Department of Social Services under the ‘Strong and Resilient Communities Activity Community Grants’. We await an outcome from the Department on the funding proposal.

  • The program, on advice from Narooma High School staff, will focus on selected students currently in Years 7, 8 & 9.
  • An initial ten (10) Community Volunteers would be selected and undertake initial training provided by Narooma High School. Volunteers would have approved Working with Children and DoE Probity Clearances.
  • Volunteer Mentors/Student support would attend the school, initially twice a week mentoring a student, on enhancing their Literacy and Numeracy competencies.
  • It is projected that 20 students would initially participate each commencing Term 3 2024.
  • 2023 NAPLAN results will be used as the base starting point of student competency and 2024/25 NAPLAN results of individual and group progress (Refer – My Schools – Narooma High School – 2023 NAPLAN results)
  • An element of the funding submission is to engage a Program Co-Ordinator to oversight the program and to provide open communications with school staff, selected students, parents / care givers of the selected students.
  • Selected students would in the main, be from family settings that are within evidenced based ‘disadvantaged’ environments.

We await the advice from Dept of Social Services with bated breath on the submission’s veracity!