TLG's Rural Program was designed to provide free one-on-one tuition and mentoring to rural and Indigenous Australian students, with the aim of empowering those students to realise their full potential.
Assisting with sponsorship, AngloGold Ashanti Australia have helped to ensure the program has reached both Boulder and East Kalgoorlie Primary Schools, whilst Gold Fields has similarly assisted both Kambalda and Menzies Primary Schools.
Held twice yearly, over June/July and November/December, the week-long program sends its volunteer tutors to a select number of rural primary schools in remote Western Australia where they are each paired with three students for the week. The 6-month follow up to revisit these same students ensures the tutors sustain their impact, whilst giving them the option to interact with the wider school cohort and wider community.
The volunteer tutors mentor their students in a one-on-one capacity, assisting with the students' knowledge gaps. Paired twice a day, each student participates in interactive activities with their tutor that are tied to the Australian Curriculum, tailored to their level of learning and any learning difficulties they may have.
“Staff enjoy the enthusiasm around the school during the week of TLG, at a time when their energy levels are low. This positive attitude rebounds around the school. Students benefit greatly from getting to know their tutor and being exposed to different careers and study,” said Bernadette Delaney, East Kalgoorlie Primary School Principal.
Participating as a tutor in the TLG Rural Program is free for full-time education students (with a small cover of the TransWA travel expense), and is an excellent opportunity for undergraduates to become more aware of the socioeconomic factors that affect education. Students who volunteered as TLG tutors report growing more confident as a leader since completing the program and believe that they made a difference to the lives of rural and Indigenous children.
"This last program Teach Learn Grow reached new heights when it impacted 1500 primary students in 30 different Australian primary schools. The enthusiasm and passion of the university students shines through and positively impacts the children's desire for learning. Its so incredible to see children who are normally disengaged to academically and socially thrive with their tutor," said Ella Ganfield, Teach Learn Grow CEO.
The list of primary schools thus far participating in the TLG program is based on criteria modelled on the Gonski Report's findings about the factors of disadvantage, inlcuding the ICSEA (Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage) scores of schools, level of remoteness, as well as their Indigenous student percentage.