ARDOCH’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY GIVING EVENT

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To fulfil your pledge, please follow this link

You are invited to join us for Ardoch’s 30th Anniversary Giving Event, powered by The Funding Network. With the support of our long-term partner, Clayton Utz, Ardoch is running a ‘pitch and pledge’ event to raise vital funds for Ardoch’s Programs and celebrate this important milestone.

During this event you will hear from the Ardoch team about three of our programs which need your support. You will also learn about the positive impact these programs are having for children in disadvantaged communities and witness the power of collective giving.

There will also be ample opportunities to network with our stakeholders and supporters and share stories of your Ardoch experiences over the last 30 years. 

To find out more about the programs the Ardoch team will be presenting, please see below. 

Ardoch’s Community Education Volunteers – improving educational outcomes for children in disadvantaged communities through one on one support

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Research shows that students in disadvantaged schools make approximately two years less progress between Year 3 and 9 than students in more advantaged schools (‘Widening Gaps’ Grattan Institute 2016). These gaps significantly limit the career options available to these students and impact on their long-term job prospects and financial futures.

Ardoch’s Community Education Volunteers provide in-classroom support, under the direction of the class teacher, for a minimum of two hours per week, every week for a minimum of six months. Through the involvement of volunteers, students receive 1-on-1 or small group support with literacy and other areas of the curriculum and are able to build relationships with a trained and positive adult role model. We support the ongoing learning of these Volunteers by offering monthly professional development sessions.

Equity Economics’ 2017 evaluation of Ardoch’s Community Education Volunteers Program shows the program’s impact on student outcomes. Teachers reported that after just six months of working with a volunteer:

  • 79% of students expressed greater confidence in their ability to learn.
  • 67% of students showed greater improvement in academic competence than anticipated;
  • 62% of students made and sustained friendships;
  • 57% of student’s behaviour improved while interacting with the volunteer

In 2017 we recruited, trained and placed 218 volunteers (who accrued 12,986 hours) in 58 schools and early years services in disadvantaged areas across Victoria who supported over 2600 children.

In 2018 we are working to recruit train, place and support 230 volunteers in over 70 school and early years sites, supporting over 2760 children.

Early Years Programs – improving school readiness and ensuring a smooth transition to Prep for vulnerable children

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The years before a child starts school are critical for building foundations for children’s learning and lifetime outcomes, particularly in disadvantaged communities. However, 32.6 percent of these children do not meet one or more key developmental milestones in their first year of school. Access to quality early childhood education can change the trajectory of a child’s life forever. Research tells us that some of the most important communicative tools we have – language, problem-solving, creativity and self-discipline – emerge in our earliest years, well before most children begin their primary schooling. We must build the capacity of developmentally vulnerable children so that when they begin their schooling, they do not continue to fall behind.

Ardoch has drawn on the latest research demonstrating how best to support young children’s language and literacy development in disadvantaged communities, and now delivers a suite of programs including Early Language & Literacy, supported by trained Education Volunteers, Broadening Horizons experiences and School Readiness Packs. These early intervention programs have demonstrated significant impact and improvement on vulnerable children’s school readiness, literacy development, social skills and confidence in their transition to Prep.

In 2017, Ardoch supported over 25 early years services in disadvantaged communities of Melbourne with programs focussed on improving school readiness and oral language and literacy development, to help ensure a smooth transition for 1905 children as they moved to primary school.

By the end of 2018 we are striving to support over 2500 children at over 40 early years services, including delivery of a program focused on early years science vocabulary and inquiry-based learning to develop communication skills prior to commencing school. 

Ardoch’s place-based expansion into Hastings – expanding our evidence based model into an area impacted by residual disadvantage

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A key facet of Ardoch’s model is to work intensively in areas facing high disadvantage through our Place-Based Work. This is where dedicated Ardoch staff work with schools and early years services in a region to develop multiple programs that respond to the specific needs of the children in the local communities as identified by our school and early years partners. Our place-based regions are Frankston North, Geelong, Dandenong and Melbourne’s West.

In Frankston North, we work with 20 early years, primary and secondary school sites connecting business, community, philanthropy and government, in that area and delivering programs for children in those schools and early years services including: weekly education volunteers, literacy and numeracy buddies in partnership with workplace volunteers, and broadening horizons excursions focussing on STEM, Culture, Social/Wellbeing and Pathways into Employment. In 2017, 2296 children in Frankston were reached through Ardoch programs.

Working closely with the Frankston North community, we can see that the statistics in the neighbouring area of Hastings – Somerville are equally as stark, and we have recently started to connect with schools in this area which are requesting our partnership and access to Ardoch’s programs. The average Index for Community and Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) in the 10 sites we are looking at is 996, with between 33% and 57% in the lowest quartile and up to 10% speaking a language other than English. The benefits of working with a cluster of schools in a disadvantaged community are substantial. By working in a cluster, we work in partnership with early years centres which are feeders to our primary school partners, which, in turn, are feeders to the local secondary schools, therefore delivering targeted and purposeful programs to a large educational local community. Through this approach, we can best fulfil our mission to increase children’s engagement in education, increase their aspiration and enhance learning outcomes.

By the end of 2018, we aim to establish 4 new school and early years partnerships in the Hastings-Somerville region. If supported to secure these additional partnerships by the end of 2018 we will be able to begin delivering programs to these new partners from as early as Term 1, 2019.

To fulfil your pledge, please follow this link