McAuley's first tutoring session

Many children who accompany their mothers to our safe houses and refuges because of family violence have missed weeks of schooling. As well as the turmoil of abruptly leaving home, school and friends they have missed crucial educational milestones.

To make sure their schooling doesn’t suffer just because they need to be kept safe from family violence, we have set up a McAuley Education program. Tuesday May 7 was a landmark day as the first family to be involved – three primary-school aged children and their mum – arrived to meet their tutors.

For months we have been setting up the McAuley refuges with furniture, computers and internet access, developing resources that will meet the particular needs of the children and young people cared for by McAuley, as well as carefully selecting and training a group of volunteer tutors to work with children in our safe house and refuges.

This particular afternoon saw an excited family of three primary aged children and their mum arrive to meet their tutors.

We settled in to the first routine of introducing ourselves and stating how we were feeling and why. This was something learnt at the Berry Street Educational Model training, a trauma-informed model regarded as best practice in the sector.

The boys worked with their tutor on a Literacy Activity involving writing information about themselves and illustrating it. They also read an old favourite Dr Seuss book that had lots of rhyming words and a fun story. The older sibling spent time with her tutor investigating a great online Literacy Program “Sunshine Online” that McAuley has subscribed to, which will target each student’s reading needs and can be accessed at their refuge. The tutor also discussed the upcoming NAPLAN testing and they both worked on a sample reading test, focussing on what was being asked in each question. Finally, the Home Reading book provided by the school was read to the tutor who signed the child’s Reading Diary and provided some great feedback for the child’s teacher.

The session ended up with the three children joining together and sharing what they had learned with each other. A great learning session was enjoyed by everyone. Their mum also enjoyed the session and learnt different strategies to use with her children at home.

We’re all now very excited about our future times together!

This program was only possible due to the generous support of the CARI Foundation.