The Atherton Gardens Homework Support program is a partnership between ACU and The Smith Family, and offers weekly after school homework support to local primary school students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and refugee backgrounds.
Based in Fitzroy, the program began in 2002 with 18 students and has grown to supporting more than 100 students each year. ACU students work as dedicated one-on-one tutors to enhance school-based learning and encourage the development of literacy and numeracy skills through a variety of learning activities.
The program has been developed to:
provide a safe learning environment where children are supported by tutors to improve their literacy and numeracy skills
help in building up their educational aspirations and promote positive relationships between the children from the estates and ACU students
build the capacity of parents to support and encourage their children's learning at home
support the Social Emotional Literacy Education Model used by the local primary school’s teachers.
In 2010 the Homework Support Program was named as the winner of the NAB Bank’s Schools First Local Impact Award.
ACU students receive training and induction prior to commencing as a tutor and ongoing support is provided onsite by staff from ACU and The Smith Family. Throughout the course of the program tutors are encouraged to reflect on their professional practice to complement their university studies.
Students enrolled in community engagement units within early childhood, primary and secondary education courses and ACU staff in Melbourne are welcome to volunteer to support this program.