Homework House Semester Recap
December 20th, 2011
As I walked through the halls at Cesar Chavez Elementary and Southwest Community Campus this fall I would often hear shouts of “Is there Homework House today?” Or “When’s my tutor coming again?” Students’ shouts were filled with excitement and eagerness to see their tutors and to come to Homework House. Student’s looked forward to reading and working on their homework with their tutor. They enjoyed the help, encouragement, and support they received from their tutors. Students could not wait for Homework House each week to get encouragement, help, and support.
Earlier this semester, as I left the building with some of the tutors, they mentioned how initially, they were nervous about tutoring and were unsure of the students. As the semester progressed they became more comfortable; they would beam about how they didn’t realize the impact they could have on these students but saw it in the student’s excitement to see and work with them. Some tutors mentioned how they were nervous at first, how this was their first time working with elementary students or in a school with students whose backgrounds were much different from their own, however by the end they said they learned a lot, were unafraid, and really loved tutoring.
One of my favorite stories from this semester is of a girl who initially did not want to read or work on her homework. However, as her tutor read with her, encouraged her, reassured her of her abilities and capabilities, and expressed genuine interest and care in this girl she began to want to read and want to work on her homework. By the end of the semester, this girl preferred to spend more time reading and working on her homework instead of playing games. I think this is a great example of the difference a tutor can make in the life of a child.
This semester, for the first time, Homework House included the administration of reading tests to each of our students. These tests allowed us to be more effective when tutoring students in reading, writing, and vocabulary. In addition this semester saw a welcome change to the book-giving aspect of the program. In the past, books have been given to students at various times throughout the semester. This fall, due to a generous donation, we were able to give students a book each week so that they could build their own libraries and have books of their own to read. The students loved it; it was so great to see them get excited to pick out a book each week!
Homework House focuses on a reciprocal relationship between the students and tutors while recognizing the importance of academics. I am so grateful for all our tutors because without them, we could not go into the schools and work with the wonderful students in Cesar Chavez and Southwest Community Campus. I love to see the impact that Homework House has in the lives of the tutors and students and to know that Homework House yields the same experiences, enthusiasm, and encouragement repeatedly, each fall and each spring!
Ashley Juvonen, Homework House Coordinator