Homework Club begins

Tuesday, January 7th, opening day for the Homework Club, saw the Fire Lake Elementary school bus disgorge students at the base of the church driveway. Two adults dressed in reflective vests were there to meet them.  The bouncing, energetic bodies consisted of 11 children ranging in age from first to fifth grade.  After being escorted to the lower entry of the church and removing coats, boots, and backpacks, the children were led to a table laden with healthy snacks.  After a word of thanks, they dug in as only hungry kids can do.  A brief time in the gym to “get the wiggles out” ended as they cheerfully filed into the middle school classroom to begin their homework.  Imagine that many children, with no prompting, getting out their homework and diving in.  There were no complaints, no reminders needed, and only polite hands raised for assistance.  What a delightful surprise for the adult volunteers.

After 40 minutes of concentrated work, the children bounded into the gym for large motor-skill activities.  The games were not competitive, just fun.  Within minutes one child was heard saying, “I wish I could come here every night after school!”  This comment more than paid for the hours of planning required to get this project up and running.  After walking the kids home via the bike path, the volunteers put the building in order and locked up.

The following days of the Homework Club saw the numbers increase from 11, to 13, to 16 and finally 22.   At that point, we had to say, “No more!”, unless we re-imagine our space and find more volunteers. The program is obviously meeting a need in the community and is using the building as it was intended.  If this is a mission that you can help support, please consider giving your time and attention to assisting our neighborhood families.  The Homework Club meets from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Volunteers plan and clean-up half an hour before and after that time.  No special skills are required, only a desire to love children by showing them how important they, and their education, are to the community.  If you are interested in working with this program please contact homeworkclub@umcchugiak.org for more information.