BSSC’s English Language Support (BELS) program was recently shortlisted for the Regional Schools section of ‘Outstanding Out-Of-School-Hours Learning Support Program’ in the MY Education awards presented by the Centre for Multicultural Youth.

This award recognises the excellence and outstanding contributions made by schools and students through out-of-hours programs offered to migrant and refugee students who frequently endure disrupted schooling. These programs seek to fill learning gaps and meet other important social and educational needs.

Here at BSSC, the BELS program runs Tuesday afternoons, bringing students, staff and volunteers together to welcome, support and assist newly-arrived students and their families as they settle into Australia. The program caters for students across all of Bendigo’s secondary colleges.

The awards ceremony was attended by BELS Coordinator Tony Merrett, EAL VCAL Program Coordinator Cath Holton, and Greater Bendigo Schools EAL Program Coordinator Rosaly McNamara.

Tony received the ‘Runner-up Outstanding Rural School’ award on behalf of BELS from Minister for Education, James Merlino.