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student2student improves Joel’s reading skills

He has improved dramatically in his reading and writing,” says Trina, Joel’s mum

With a father who is a full time carer for his mother, Joel had limited help at home with his schoolwork and had fallen behind. After taking part in student2student, Joel has improved significantly in class. It’s just one way long-term holistic support is benefiting the family.

Joel and mum Trina - student2student
Student2Student participant Joel, with mum Trina

Before student2student Joel was lacking. He was probably bottom of the class. After the program he’s not top, but he’s about just past half. He can read a book without having to stop and look at the words. We put it down to student2student,

Joel's mum, Trina

student2student pairs primary school students with poor reading skills with a trained volunteer reading buddy, who they read to over the phone three times a week. Trina believes that having a high school student take time to invest in his learning gave Joel the added encouragement that he needed.

Joel liked his mentor. I think she praised him a lot. Parents and teachers can only do so much, but he had a girl, and he looked up to that girl,” says Trina.

Without his reading skills holding him back, Joel’s self-esteem has soared. Now he is willing to take part in a range of learning experiences.

With young children and a heart condition, Trina says life has its challenges. Her partner is her full time carer, so neither parent is working. Surviving on the carer’s allowance means the children would often have to go without.

Yet since 2006 the family has been receiving sponsorship support from The Smith Family. The financial assistance Trina receives from her children’s sponsors, means they have the essential school items they need to fit in and participate fully in their education.

Joel - student2student
Joel is proud of his achievements

I appreciate every bit of support The Smith Family offers. Words couldn’t say how much it means to me and my family. We are very appreciative and thankful,


Life for my kids would be a lot worse if they weren’t involved with The Smith Family. It would be awful sending them to school without things,” says Trina.

Knowing you are going to have the money for a new uniform, new shoes, new bags – it makes a big difference. My kids are happier knowing they are going to go to school like everybody else.”

With ongoing support throughout their education, Trina’s children can break the cycle of disadvantage. And Trina is so grateful for the generosity of Smith Family supporters.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer for The Smith Family student2student program, please click on the link for further information and current opportunities.

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