Homework Help Program At The United Methodist Church

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    Some of the Homework Help staff (from left to right): Administrator, Pat Rush; tutors Michael Marmor, Sydna Blumberg, and Marika Knight; United Methodist Church of Port Washington Pastors David Collins and Romi Abelova; and tutor Maureen Peraza. (Contributed photo)

    On June 16, The United Methodist Church of Port Washington completed its first offering of a non-denominational Homework Help Program that provided free, end-of-academic-year tutoring. The program enrolled 14 students from Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School who met with tutors for 4 weeks. Volunteer tutors helped students with their homework and then with studying for final exams. The expectation is that this pilot program will be followed by a larger program in the fall that will include more students from a larger range of grades.
    Tutors for the pilot program were enlisted from the Methodist Church and the general community. The Port Washington program is modeled after a similar program that has been underway for several years at St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
    Students and tutors report that they have enjoyed the experience. A sixth grader said, “When I had trouble understanding math homework, the tutors prepared me for the test and my grade improved.”
    Michael Marmor, a tutor, said, “Reading about all the problems kids have had with school during COVID-19 was difficult. It has been hugely gratifying to meet these students and give them a hand.”
    Another tutor, Marika Knight, said, “It is a delight to work with these kids: they are dedicated and eager to learn. I hope we can expand the program in the future to support more kids.”
    Maureen Peraza said, “As a retired teacher, I am enjoying the contact with students again. I find it gratifying to help the students with their homework and to prepare them for their upcoming final exams.”
    COVID-19 safety protocols have been followed during the tutoring sessions. Parents and students have been provided with N95 masks courtesy of a generous donation by Shields Plumbing and Hardware, Port Washington. Tutors, administrators, students and parents have been masking up to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19 within the program. Although the program takes place in the United Methodist Church, it has been completely non-denominational and open to all, irrespective of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
    The main goals according to Pastor Romi Abelova have been to provide service to the community, build upon Port Washington’s already strong sense of community, and provide support to students.
    —Submitted by The United Methoist Church of Port Washington

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