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Tyrell's Story - The most important 20 weeks of his life!

This background sheet about one of how the Exodus tutorial program changed the life of one student called Tyrell was handed out at the launch of the Exodus tutorial centre Redfern on 11th March 2007.

Tyrell's teachers describe him as a very steady and kind person, a fantastic example for other kids - but as Tyrell went into his 5th year of primary school, he felt anything but an example to his peers.

When Tyrell came to The Exodus Foundation's Ashfield Tutorial Centre, he was 2 1/2 years behind his school mates in reading and comprehension skills. His self esteem was low. He was too scared to say anything in class and he believed he was too stupid to be any better.

Tyrell's mum struggled to get him to look at a book - she felt she was a failure and was very worried about Tyrell's future.

Tyrell's teachers suggested that he should attend the 20 week literacy program at the Exodus Tutorial Centre at Ashfield - here he would be able to work on his literacy skills, but perhaps even more important than this, improve his self esteem and become the person they knew he could be.

After just 20 weeks at the Tutorial Centre, Tyrell's reading and comprehension levels improved to such an extent that he was not only level with his peers, but six months ahead.

Tyrell's mother said she saw a dramatic improvement in his attitude. When Tyrell realised he was not stupid, the grin began to spread from ear to ear.

During his final yearat primary

school Tyrell ran for school captain. As part of his campaign, he spoke in front of the whole school at assembly. Tyrell's mum nearly burst with pride. "My son is a completely different boy, he wants to be a doctor now."

The day we took this photo, it was very hot. This did not worry Tyrell in the least - he insisted on wearing his school blazer and proudly posed for this photograph.

At the end of Year 6, Tyrell had gained enough confidence to try his hand at the Scots College scholarship exam. Not only did he pass, he passed with a better than average score. As this story is being written, Tyrell has been at his new school for three weeks and has already won five merits.

You might ask how can this miracle happen in just 20 weeks?

  • The Exodus literacy program was developed by Macquarie University Special Education Centre and based on sound research. We test children when they start and when they finish - we track their progress and we know how much they have improved.
  • Our program is not just about teaching children to read, it is about changing behaviour. Some children are up to four years behind - you can not be this far behind unless you have learned some work avoidance skills. Our tutorial program turns these behaviours around.
  • Our children are on task most if not all of the time. At first they find it a challenge, but they come to love it. We have not had a young person who does not like coming to Exodus.
  • Our children feel safe at Exodus. Previously at school they have been the "dummy" in the class. At Exodus they recognise and are kind to each other. They know they all have the same problems.
  • We practise positive teaching methods and constantly reinforce the gains made with comments designed to build confidence and self esteem.
  • Our teachers are highly qualified and committed to helping each child achieve their absolute best.
  • The student/teacher ratio is 5 students per teacher. Each child also has access to committed and well trained volunteers who help them practise their skills every week. Children get the attention they need to help them turn their lives around.
  • Regular attendance is a requirement and the students, families, and the referring school must be commited to continuous attendance for the duration of the program. Students attend the Exodus Tutorial Centres for two school terms, Monday - Friday 8.30am to 11.30am, returning to their regular schools for the afternoon.

Rev Bill Crews and the team at The Exodus Foundation are committed to providing opportunities to young people who would otherwise be at serious risk of becoming disaffected with education.

We provide a safe environment which is literally the fork in the road where children are shown the way to a good and productive future.

If you would like to help boys and girls like Tyrell please contact us and become part of this amazing program.

If you would like to find out more about The Exodus Foundation call 02 8752 4600

The Exodus Foundation
180 Liverpool Road, Ashfield NSW 2131
PO Box 1595, Ashfield NSW 1800
Phone: 02 8752 4600
Fax: 02 9798 8867
Email: charity@exodusfoundation.net
www.billcrews.com.au  www.exodusfoundation.net