Columbus Library Homework Help Centers open

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 Messenger photos by Dianne Garrett
Danielle Crosier, 11, a sixth-grade student at Rosemore Middle School, is thrilled to be chosen to cut the ribbon for the new Homework Help Center at the Columbus Public Library’s Whitehall branch during grand opening ceremonies Sept. 10.  Assisting her is George Morrison, the coordinator for the center.
 
Danielle Crosier is pictured with Susan Tobin, a tutor at the Whitehall Branch of the Columbus Public Library’s new Homework Help Center. Danielle said that she enjoys coming to the center to work on her homework, and likes the fact that she can get some personal help when needed from a tutor or volunteer.  Tobin is a former teacher whose service is funded through the Columbus Foundation just for the center.

Homework has never been so much fun for some kids in Whitehall.  

Many young students were on hand for the Sept. 10 grand opening event of the Homework Help Center at the Whitehall branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.    

Danielle Crosier, 11, has been coming to the center since school started.  The Rosemore Middle School student said that she really likes it, and finds it a great environment for doing her homework.  

"I can get personal help if I need it," she said.    

Susan Tobin is a former teacher who is the only tutor paid by the Columbus Foundation.  

"This is a great place for students to come when they need help.  What better place than the library," said Tobin.  "It’s quiet and safe with all the books and resources to help with homework."  

She pointed out that many come to get help with research for their reports, and have access to laptop computers.  She is finding the students very enthusiastic, and not afraid to ask for help.  

Tobin shared that after a young girl finished her homework one day, she and Tobin just read an assignment together and talked about the book.  

"We even help them work with flash cards, anything they need to help with their studies,"   she explained.

Tobin also pointed out that some of the parents are coming along with their children to work with them. "Parents are learning along with their kids."

Lee and Lucy Kincaid are the son and daughter of Earl Kincaid, and have been coming to the help center since it opened.  The father often comes with them to help, and said that it is a great place.  

He offered that both of his children are more excited to come to the library and do their homework.  He has seen an improvement in their study habits.

According to George Morrison, the coordinator for the center, about 10 to 15 children, in elementary through middle school, come every day.  He is hoping more high school students will start taking advantage of the service.

Whitehall Superintendent Judyth Dobbert-Meloy attended the opening event, noting that the board of education has a policy  that homework should be assigned and assessed periodically so that teachers, along with the students and their parents can monitor progress or academic struggles.  

Homework provides the basis to learn good study habits, and teaches children to work independently.   Dobbert-Meloy said that the center is great for kids whose parents are busy balancing family and work, and don’t always have the time to help with homework.  

"We appreciate the library providing the Homework Help Center," said the superintendent.

Chris Taylor, deputy director of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, said that four centers opened around Columbus last year.  

"This week we are celebrating seven more locations throughout the Columbus area," including Reynoldsburg on Brice Road, Taylor said.

Branch Manager Deborah Replogle is excited that the special area provides a place just for the children.  She pointed out that the main part of the library gets a little hectic as people are going home from a work day picking up books or movies.  The children are not getting distracted in that hectic activity.  

Mayor Lynn Ochsendorf told students that when she was a little girl, she came to the library almost every day, and read a book a day in the summer.  

She told library officials, "For the young minds of our community, we thank you."

Before the ribbon-cutting, Morrison said, "Young minds need help.  It is a big step to ask for help.  We have open arms and open doors."  

The center is always looking for volunteers.  Applications may be obtained at any library in the Columbus area, or at www.columbuslibrary.org.

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