Word Up (Primary School & IEC)

Picture of a Compass volunteer and a primary school student smiling at each other

We are looking for volunteers to help school students with their literacy and forge a path to higher education. Strong literacy skills are essential for learning, independence and to participate fully in society. A child who does not acquire these basic reading skills may struggle with school work.

As a Word Up (Primary School/IEC) volunteer, you will work one-on-one with students to deliver the Making Up Lost Time in Literacy (MultiLit) program in schools. This program consists of a series of fun exercises that include phonics, word attack skills, fluency and reading comprehension, and has had impressive results in raising a child's reading age if they have fallen behind.

In 2016 we will not only offer opportunities to volunteer at primary schools on the Word Up program but we also have opportunities to work at Intensive English Centres (IECs) with students who are newly arrived to Australia.

Who should volunteer?

Join this volunteer program if you are:

  • Passionate about reading and literacy
  • Interested in helping students aged 8 to 12
  • Comfortable delivering a structured reading program in a one-on-one setting
  • Available to volunteer each week for the duration of the program

Read the position description (PDF).

Program dates

The Word Up program runs for 14 weeks, in two blocks:


Start Date

End Date

Block 1

(5 weeks)

Monday, 2 May 

(Semester 1, Week 9)

Friday, 3 June

(Semester 1, Week 13)

Block 2

(9 weeks)

Monday, 25 July

(Semester 2, Week 1)

Friday 23 September

(Semester 2, Week 9)

Time commitment

Volunteers will need to be available for one 3-hour period per week during the hours of 8.30am-3.30pm, Monday-Friday. This period includes 1 hour of volunteering in school, and approximately 2 hours of travel time to/from the school. You will volunteer at the same time each week.

At some schools, you can volunteer for longer than 1 hour per week.


Volunteers are placed at one primary school for the duration of the program. Volunteer opportunities are available across Sydney's metropolitan area. Further details about specific schools on the program will be provided once applications open.


Compass will reimburse transport costs / mileage to a maximum of $20 per week.


Full training is provided. Please click here for further information.