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Homework Help Centers

Columbus Metro Library

Innovation Leader: Kathy Shahbodaghi, PSD Administrator, Youth & Teen Services, kshahbodagh@columbuslibrary.org

Problem Statement

Students who don’t understand or cannot complete their homework learn less than their peers, are less engaged in school and have a higher high school dropout rate.

Innovation

To contribute to the high school graduation targets of our schools, the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has opened 18 Homework Help Centers (HHCs) in the Main Library and 17 branches since 2004. Each HHC consists of a dedicated space with computers, study tables, textbooks, free homework supplies, two dedicated staff and trained volunteers to assist students with daily homework help. Each HHC is a free and welcome space within our libraries where students find all they need to study and complete their homework. Staff and volunteers provide hands on homework help for students K-12 3 hours per day after school.

Progress

From the start demand has been strong. In fact, results were so positive that the HHC concept, originally present only in our urban community branches, was expanded to our suburban locations. For the 2008-2009 school year, over 37,000 students signed in for homework help at our 15 existing centers. Although HHCs serve K-12 students, middle school students make up the largest portion of HHC users. Math is the subject most in demand, and repeat usage averages to over 5 visits per student. Usage continues to grow, and in the month of January alone, 12,500 students received assistance. We expect to serve 52,000 students by the end of the current school year.