Students Provide Free Homework Assistance at Pomona Public Library

Students Provide Free Homework Assistance at Pomona Public Library
The homework center is located at the Pomona Public Library.

Cal Poly Pomona's Center for Community Service-Learning has unveiled a new homework assistance center dedicated to empowering local schoolchildren.

Located in the Pomona Public Library's story-telling area, the homework assistance center provides free services to local schoolchildren from third- to sixth-grade. Children are also supplied with activities and snacks.

Families interested in the free service are welcome to come in at any time during the center's hours. The center is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Headed by Cal Poly Pomona student Charlene Wyatt, the homework center is staffed by a total of 25 student volunteers who dedicate several hours each week at the center.

“This is a chance for volunteers to work in their community,” said Wyatt, a senior liberal studies student and AmeriCorps Promise Fellow. “Those who come in to volunteer are future teachers and educators, so this gives them a lot of experience.”

The idea for a homework center began in December 2007 as a collaboration between the university's Center for Community Service-Learning and PIE to motivate childrens interest in homework and learning. Additionally, the center's volunteers would serve as role models to the children, whom they mentor and encourage to succeed.

By March 4, the homework center opened and began accepting its first students.

For volunteer Ivan Garcia, a freshman construction engineering student, the most rewarding aspect of working at the homework center is knowing he made a difference in his tutee's learning.

“Seeing positive results on their tests puts a big smile on my face,” Garcia said. “Working at the center benefits me as well because it allows me to explore new ways of teaching.”

The homework center works closely with liberal studies professor Dr. Christina Chavez and her service-learning class in developing outreach presentations to elementary schools in the Pomona Unified School District. Additionally, Cal Poly Pomona's Center for Community Service-Learning is promoting the service through visits at the Downtown Center's Family Fun Days, and to Pomona recreational centers and churches.

The homework center is funded by AmeriCorps and the Center for Community Service-Learning. Most recently, Athens Trash Services donated two laptop computers and a printer. In addition, David Bogardus, head librarian for the Pomona Unified School District, donated textbooks.

The center is located in the Pomona Public Library, 625 S. Garey Ave.

For more information, contact Charlene Wyatt at (909) 869-3129.