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The Friday Night School was created in 1996 and provides educational assistance beyond normal schooling for children and young adults who are from non-English speaking backgrounds.  Specifically it focuses on assisting refugees from Ethiopia, Sudan, East Timor and Vietnam, as well as other developing countries.

Many students of the Friday Night School live in the Richmond public housing estate, however students do come from all over Melbourne for this specialised educational assistance. Approximately 180 students attend the Friday Night School each week, which is run in the St Ignatius Centre Hall.

The Friday Night School is staffed by volunteer tutors, many from Melbourne's private schools. Each week tutors come from Xavier College, Genazzano, Loreto Mandeville Hall, St Kevin’s, Star of the Sea, Sacre Coeur and others. Some of the tutors are adults from various backgrounds including retirees, university students and various other professionals lending a helping hand.

In addition to their tuition, the Friday Night School provides:

  • Financial assistance with text books to students in the program
  • Some desktop and laptop computers to selected families and students
  • An annual weekend camp and break up party
  • An associated program which offers at home tutoring from university students and young professionals on a Wednesday night
  • Teaching to parents of the students to acquire written and oral English skills
  • Visits to the families of students, helping them to read and interpret school reports and where appropriate to assist the family further.

The Friday Night School also operates a fund which provides scholarships for selected students based on academic achievement and qualities of their character as shown in their determination, commitment to study and concern for others.

The Friday Night school has been endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient and endorsed for charity tax concessions.

For more details please visit fridaynightschool.org