It’s the moment when the penny drops for a student that is the ultimate reward for volunteer tutor Dick Danckert.
Dick is one of nine tutors who provide free tutoring for local grades 5 and 6 students through the Young Wolves program, and is this week’s #thursdaythankyou.
While the program has run for many years, Dick signed up four years and now coordinates it.
“It’s good fun working with the kids,” says the retired telephone engineer. “The joy of the a-ha moment when kids finally pick up on something they have been struggling with.”
Young Wolves runs out of Spring Creek Community House, Torquay, every Tuesday and Thursday, offering free 40-minute, one-on-one sessions.
With 18 students currently in the program, Dick says he currently has enough tutors to support 30 kids.
He says tutors range from retired teachers, surgeons and publishers to recently graduated teachers and even a Year 12 student completing her Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The free service makes extra support accessible to kids who might otherwise miss out, Dick says, adding that individual attention is usually all it takes for students to grasp a challenging numeracy or literacy skill.
He says students usually stay in the program for one or two years, but others leave once they have mastered concepts they previously found difficult.
“It also builds confidence, which helps them learn better and really kick on,” Dick says. “That’s what we want to see, after all.”