Strawberry Mansion: The Homework Club

John Gillard read to two students during the after school homework club.

Every Tuesday and Thursday for the past month, Jessica Ausen, the counselor at L.P. Hill Elementary School has held the homework club, an after-school program that came to light when the principal called for more extra-curricular activities.

Ausen decided it would be an ideal opportunity for kids in the Comprehensive Student Assistance Program(CSAP) to get extra help with their school work. CSAP is a program that aims to help students with their behavior, academic and attendance problems.

“The students are getting their work done,” Ausen said. “Ideally, I would like to have each student to have a tutor with them.”

The students are grouped into different tiers. The first level is the most basic of problems. However, if the kids continue to struggle in tier one, they move on to tier two. In the second level, they get more attention from school personnel in hopes of helping them improve.

Anywhere from five to 10 kids are in the second tier at one time and they are the ones targeted for the after-school homework club to give them guidance in completing their work.

So far, Ausen has been able to recruit one volunteer, but she would like to have greater participation from neighboring Strawberry Mansion High School and the universities in Philadelphia. For now though, she said she’s satisfied with what she has.

“Do you want to read this together?” John Gillard asked a student.

“Yes, please,” responded the student.

John Gillard read to two students during the after-school homework club.

Gillard is a Temple University student in the teacher certification program. He became involved through an email sent out over his professor’s mailing list.

“I wanted to get experience and I love teaching children,” Gillard said. “That’s why I volunteer my time.”