South Coast literacy program celebrates success, seeks tutors for 2016

LITERACY TUTORS: YESS volunteers and coordinators include Kristina Walker, Jan Reynolds, Elaine Cozens Verna Mackintosh and Deb Parker.
LITERACY TUTORS: YESS volunteers and coordinators include Kristina Walker, Jan Reynolds, Elaine Cozens Verna Mackintosh and Deb Parker.

A literacy program in Far South Coast schools has been hailed as a success and organisers want more volunteers to step up.

In 2015, Youth Educational Support Service (YESS) volunteers had a highly successful first year.

Working in collaboration with school learning support staff, the new 12-strong YESS tutoring group used Macquarie University’s MULTILit - Making Up for Lost Time in Literacy - program to achieve these outstanding results.

The program’s graduates could participate more fully in their classroom learning, boosting their self-esteem and lifetime educational and wellbeing prospects.

Many students commented they could now read information from the board and their textbooks, as they transferred their new-found skills to the classroom. 

Over the last six years, YESS volunteers using MULTILit have achieved amazing outcomes in boosting students’ reading skills in Bega, Bermagui, Cobargo, Quaama, Tilba and Narooma primary schools and Narooma and Bega High Schools.

The schools’ learning support staff identify students for these programs and the NSW Education Department provides new MULTILit tutors a one day training course.

The next training day is at Cobargo School on Thursday, February 11.

Since 2009, YESS has recruited about 130 volunteers including former teachers, retirees, parents, grandparents and other interested community members.

Tutoring for 2016 begins on Monday, February 8.

YESS volunteers tutor students one-on-one from 9.30-11am, one day a week during term times.

Experienced YESS tutors support new volunteers in each school and back-up tutors are available if volunteers wish to take holidays or days off.

Anyone who may be interested in participating in this exciting and valuable program is invited to observe a tutoring session at Bega High or any of the other schools where YESS volunteers next week and then attend the training day.

Contact Verna Mackintosh on  0401 311 864 or Frances Perkins on 0423 780 498 for details and read more about YESS at www.yess.org.au.

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