I am a first year Bachelor of Economics student, and I started volunteering with Compass after finding out about the program at their O-Week stall. It seemed like a great opportunity to volunteer, because it offered the chance to actually contribute in a concrete way, and it was run by the University which meant it would fit in with my University commitments. I really like working with kids, and because I love reading Compass was really relevant to my interests.
After an early adjustment period the school I was allocated to ran the Compass program really well, and the kids were fantastic. Because they had such severe reading difficulties they were often unwilling to read to me or got easily frustrated, but as the program went on they became much more open and excited. The program is structured as a series of levels, so the kids really felt a sense of motivation and achievement in moving through different stages, and it was exciting for me to watch them progress. It was lovely to watch the kids realize that the program was a fun and helpful way to improve their reading, not just a boring school lesson.
The Compass staff were really supportive throughout my time with them. It was helpful that they provided a basic program, so that we did not need to create our own teaching materials, and there was loads of support available if we were ever confused. At the same time, the staff encouraged flexibility in how we used the program, which was practical and helpful. We always knew the staff were just a phone call away, and that they would be understanding of our Uni commitments.
During my time volunteering I particularly enjoyed watching one student almost finish the program. Seeing someone progress so quickly is rewarding, and to see them so much more engaged in their books and receive positive feedback from their teachers made my Compass experience feel really worthwhile.