Recovering from serious illness or injury is hard enough for any child but overcoming the disruption to their education makes it even more challenging. Extra assistance from teachers can be invaluable in helping kids make up for lost time.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities Learning Program is looking for teachers from across regional NSW to work with kids who are undergoing treatment for illness or injury to help them catch up with their peers.
The program, which is made possible by the generosity of the local community and funding from the Greater Charitable Foundation, provides a suite of educational support services, including therapy sessions and one-on-one tutorials with experienced teachers. The learning sessions are tailored to students’ individual needs, with the aim of building each child’s confidence and self-esteem in preparation for their return to the classroom.
Lesley Grigg is a retired teacher and principal from Barraba who has been involved in the RMHC Learning Program since 2009 and says it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience.
“I love seeing the development of the students, their academic growth, the way they communicate and their ability to socialise” Lesley said.
“It was my dream to do tutoring when I finished teaching at schools, and I knew I wanted to keep in touch with the children.
“It's a real interest when you're an older person, so to be able to tutor children with the Ronald McDonald Learning Program is terrific. It’s a great program that’s run really well.
“I have an excellent relationship with the staff that I've never met, but I talk regularly to them and send them texts and vice versa. You know, we've got a very good working relationship.”
Lesley says she would highly recommend the Program to other teachers.
“If you're interested in education and you feel that you could help a child one to one, it's an excellent opportunity. And the Ronald McDonald Learning Program is a wonderful program to work with.
“There are no directives of what you’ve got to teach. They leave it to your initiative to pick up on what each child needs and then you report back each term on what you’ve covered.”
The Ronald McDonald House Charities Learning Program helped almost 150 primary and high school students across Northern NSW in 2020 alone, providing specialised one-on-one sessions to help children meet their educational needs. To meet the changing needs of students due to restrictions, tuition can be conducted face-to-face or online via a Zoom Education Platform.
Running in the Hunter since 2001, the Learning Program also gives the children and their families a welcome distraction from their health challenges and treatments.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern NSW is supported by the Greater Charitable Foundation, which provided the Learning Program with more than $260,000 over two years from 2019, along with an additional $82,417 in funding for Ronald McDonald House in Newcastle in July 2020.
The Ronald McDonald Learning Program can also offer teachers free professional development. EDMed® is a one-hour presentation aimed at providing an overview of childhood illness and provides teachers with useful strategies to make accommodations for students’ physical, social, emotional, and academic needs.
EDMed can be delivered face-to-face as a one-hour seminar to staff and is also available online for individual teachers to complete at their own pace.
Teachers interested in finding out more about the paid opportunities the Program offers can find out more by contacting Dayle or Georga on (02) 4921 4733 via email – email@example.com
See www.rmhc.org.au/edmed for more information.