In Year 9 at GVGS students immerse themselves in the Yakapna Programme which aims to create a time for students to transition from the Middle to Senior years of school. The programme provides learning activities and experiences which allow students to form deeper understandings of self, place and community.
One of the many elements of the programme is to volunteer for a community service or programme for a minimum of 8 hours throughout the year. In the 2019 Year 9 cohort a large number of students participated clocking up over 25 hours of service. Students enlisted in a diverse range of services including sporting clubs, homework programs, nursing homes, school holiday activities and many more.
Student Bridget O’Dwyer said “This experience was extremely beneficial for us students and the wider community. It gave us a sense of fulfilment to give back and made us appreciate of the opportunities we have”.
The following is Amelie Welk’s (pictured below) reflection of her community service involvement:
“I did Gowala and Student2Student this year. Gowala is a homework club to assist indigenous students with their Numeracy, Literacy and their Yorta-Yorta language. The students were so welcoming and enthusiastic. Our role was to supervise and encourage them with their weekly worksheets. We have made special friendships with the children that will stay with us forever.
Student2student is a program that helps young students with their reading. It is organised by the Smith family. My student was very enthusiastic and she would read for up to an hour if I let her. By the end of the program, she had improved her vocabulary immensely. She was very proud of herself when her reading was tested and she had moved up 3 levels during the time in which she had been reading to me. I was pleased that I had a part in helping her reading come such a long way. I was very sad at the end of the program.
As a cohort, we’d like to thank our parents for taking time out to get us to and from our community service and helping us understand the importance of giving back to our communities”.