For most kids, having to stay after school to study is not a good thing.
But for the students in the Hannah McClure Elementary School Homework Club, staying after school and studying is actually something they enjoy and look forward to.
The Homework Club, which began last spring, meets every Wednesday after school, and community volunteers and teachers are there to help the third-fifth grade students with their homework, or to hone their math or reading skills.
Hannah McClure Family Resource Director Michelle Mitchell said the idea behind the club was to give the students that little bit of extra help they need to succeed in their classrooms.
“We thought it would be a good thing for kids who may not have the support at home, kids who need some extra structure and some extra time to work on things. We try to get them in the mode of structure, and how important it is to stay on top of things,” Mitchell said. “The goal is that we want the kids to enjoy school work. We want them to raise their achievement levels and to definitely be on grade level when they complete the year, no matter what grade they are in.”
The Homework Club is voluntary,¿Mitchell said, and not a form of punishment. Teachers identified students in their classrooms who could benefit from the extra help, and letters were sent to their parents offering the Homework Club. Those who wanted their children to attend could do so, but it wasn’t mandatory. Of the 20 letters sent out, 12 parents elected to have their children attend. The only requirement for participation in the club was that parents provide transportation for their children after the sessions.
Mitchell credited the volunteers from the Partners in Education Trailblazers Program for making the club successful.
“I am so impressed with our volunteers. Brian Stephens, Diana Reed and Ann Fryer do a great job. They work so well with the kids on reading or math or whatever they need, and the kids really love them,” Mitchell said. “We also have some teachers who come down and help some of the kids, so it gives me time to go around and make sure everyone has what they need.” Mitchell said seeing the difference the Homework Club made last year made them want to keep it going again this fall.
“We had some students who really made a lot of progress last year through the help of the homework club, so the teachers were excited about doing it again this year,” Mitchell said. “They get to see every day in their classrooms the strides the kids are making and the difference the homework club is having, so they are very supportive of the program.” Mitchell said the club has grown from last year, but there will always be room for those who want to join.
“I think the homework club is only going to grow and we won’t lose any kids during the year,” Mitchell said. “But there is always room for more. We’ll take as many as need to come, I’ll just keep getting more volunteers.”
Principal Kathy Howard said it was nice to see the enthusiasm for the Homework Club from parents, teachers and the students.
“We tried to make the Homework Club fun and something that’s enjoyable while they learn and the kids are very happy with it and so are the teachers and parents,” Howard said. “It’s just a great atmosphere for learning and we have three great mentors for the kids right now. I think this will only grow and get better.”
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com