EdConnect Australia partners with Alcoa Foundation to help at-risk kids

EdConnect Pinjarra Primary School volunteers Wilbur Graham, Jacinda Gordon, John Szkraba and Bett Caldwell with Karen Barden (second left), Suelled Jerrard from Alcoa (fourth left) and Marcia Kett (second right ) from Pinjarra Primary School.
EdConnect Pinjarra Primary School volunteers Wilbur Graham, Jacinda Gordon, John Szkraba and Bett Caldwell with Karen Barden (second left), Suelled Jerrard from Alcoa (fourth left) and Marcia Kett (second right ) from Pinjarra Primary School.

SCHOOL children in the Peel region will receive additional support to successfully navigate emotional, social and academic issues, thanks to a partnership between EdConnect Australia and the Alcoa Foundation.

Alcoa has agreed to continue supporting delivery of EdConnect’s Connecting Generations for School Success program in Peel for the next three years after first partnering with the organisation in 2016.

The partnership matches volunteers with up to 800 students at risk of not achieving their educational potential in at least 15 schools across Peel each year.

EdConnect chief executive Gerri Clay said the partnership would connect about 100 volunteers with the schools where they would help teachers and provide one-on-one student support.

Alcoa chairman Michael Parker said supporting young people to reach their potential was vital but so was supporting other members of the community.

“EdConnect’s programs help both students and older volunteers who have so much to offer,’’ he said.

Wilbur Graham (84) has volunteered at Pinjarra Primary School for 14 years and for the last eight years attended the school every day.

“I get so much out of it and love going home at the end of the day thinking I’ve been able to remain and help someone,’’ he said.

EdConnect Australia rural liaison officer for Peel Karen Barden urged anyone interested in volunteering, particularly those prepared to mentor a high school student, to contact the not-for-profit organisation.