Many kids want to spend their after school hours playing video games or watching television, but the West Monroe Community Center is doing their part to keep students focused on the books. The center has had their after school program for years but added the homework lab just a few days ago.
“Junior high and high school students many times needed a good place to go and finish homework”, says community center director Denise Calhoun.
Students from the fourth grade and up are encourage to visit the lab after school. They’ll have access to free WiFi, computers, printers, school supplies, and more. The lab is staffed with Americorps mentors to help students with any problems, big or small.
“Just a place that they can come escape any problem that they’re having”, says mentor Baylee Spencer. Having a mentor when she was younger, she says she knows first-hand how important having that shoulder to lean on can be.
“Come and be with people who actually care for them and want to help them succeed. Some of these kids don’t have that” says Spencer.
The homework lab has only been open for two days, and participation isn’t as high as Calhoun would have hoped.
“Our parents are really excited I don’t know how well that’s going to translate into the kids”, says Calhoun.
She says hopefully as the school year progresses kids will get more involved taking advantage of all the help they offer.
“As those first report cards come in and especially as those more complicated projects start being assigned”, says Calhoun.
The lab will be open Mondays through Fridays from 3 p.m. until 5:45 p.m.