Presbyterian Ladies’ College students volunteer for Smith Family program


Georgia Kestrel, Saffron Fairweather and Charlotte Fairweather all take part in the student2student program.
Georgia Kestrel, Saffron Fairweather and Charlotte Fairweather all take part in the student2student program.

PRESBYTERIAN Ladies’ College students have volunteered their time to help disadvantaged children in the Smith Family student2student program.

Students from Year 7 to 9 have been helping children from disadvantaged families improve in their learning, by helping them with their reading up to three times a week.

Year 8 student Georgia Kestel has been involved in the program for three years and said she enjoyed it.

“There’s something so nice about seeing improvement in your buddy and hear how much the program means to them,” she said.

“It’s my favourite (service) program because there’s a personal relationship; a friendship.”

Research conducted by the Smith Family shows that the reading gap between the lowest socioeconomic status students and the highest is equivalent to almost three years of schooling.

The student2student program aims to bridge this gap by pairing students who are up to two years behind, with a trained reading buddy.

A recent survey of the program showed that 95 per cent of students who took part improved their reading.

Year 7 student Charlotte Fairweather said she joined that program after seeing her sister take part.

“It’s a good feeling, especially when you notice your buddy’s attitude improve,” she said.