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Volunteer Today for Library’s Homework Help Centers

By: Marcey Evans

Volunteer to become a homework coach and help a child today! Call (901) 415-2840.Homework doesn’t have to be a headache, but for some students it’s a daily hassle. Starting June 25 – August 22, 2013, the Memphis Public Library and Information Center will eliminate the headache with Homework Help Centers at five Library locations, and volunteer homework coaches are needed today!

“In doing research locally, we discovered that homework help for students is practically nonexistent. For Memphis, this help is minimal with only a few locations offering homework assistance,” noted Dean Moore, Frayser Library manager and one of the Homework Center organizers. “We want to provide a place where students, parents, and grandparents can come and say, ‘This is where we can go to get help!’”

Volunteer coaches will be trained to provide this extra help during one of the training sessions on Monday, June 17, 1 pm – 5 pm or Saturday, June 22, 10 am – 2 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue). “Volunteers will learn how to speak to children, helping them ask the right questions, so we can provide the right answers,” said Damone Virgilio, staff development trainer who will teach volunteers.

Students in grades 3 – 5 will receive homework assistance in English, grammar, writing, and math. During this initial phase of the program, Homework Centers will be located at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Frayser Library, Hollywood Library, Parkway Village Library, and Whitehaven Library.

Instead of tutoring students to sharpen skills, Homework Help Center volunteers will simply help students to complete their homework without the hassle. “Our end goal is for students to leave with a completed assignment,” Virgilio commented.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, well-organized, and team players who can communicate effectively with children, parents, and Library personnel. They must be self-directed, culturally-sensitive, computer and Internet literate, and able to write clearly and concisely.

For more information about becoming a homework coach, call Volunteer Coordinator Sonya Walton at (901) 415-2840 or email sonya.walton@memphistn.gov.