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Abstract

School-family and school-community partnerships have been shown to underpin school success. These relationships where parents and community organisations share responsibility for helping children succeed in school have been called ‘partnership schools’ and ‘complementary learning’. An example of a ‘partnership school’ was reported in a case study by Miller (2005; 2009) where support being provided by church-based community volunteers at Whitewood Public School1 on the Central Coast of New South Wales was cited. That study investigated the use of empowerment evaluation (Fetterman, 2001) with a national school breakfast program in Australia called the Good Start Breakfast Club. This paper reports from two perspectives, the contribution to ‘complementary learning’ of those volunteers from the Christ Centered Community Church2 serving in the school breakfast program at Whitewood: first the reflections by a group of parents, grandparents and carers of children attending the school; and second, the reflections of the church pastor. Relationships significant to students’ lives and learning emerge in these narratives.

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