Bexley library now focusing on helping students with homework
As the new school year gets into full swing, the Bexley Public Library is making its own transitions -- from summer reading to homework help.
Still basking in the glow of another successful Summer Reading Program, the Bexley Public Library's staff has now opened the doors to their annual Homework Help Center, welcoming students of all ages.
From assistance with difficult math equations, to printing services (even color) for special projects and presentations, the Homework Help Center has it all.
"I think it's important having a designated place to go for help," said Whitney Carr, the Homework Help Center's coordinator. "Consistency helps."
She said sometimes parents are busy with jobs or other obligations, so offering a destination where assistance is available is a plus for both students and their families. It's also often beneficial to have someone other than a child's parent sitting down, one-on-one, and help a child with homework or a research project, she said.
"Also, a lot of kids still don't have computers or printers at home," added Carr, making the Center's hardware, internet, and printing services especially valuable.
Four computers are dedicated to student use only in the Center, and are installed with Microsoft Office programs and other online software.
General supplies are also available like glue sticks, pens, pencils, markers, and other art materials for larger projects.
And research materials are just a step away.
But if it's just a little help - or prodding - that the youngster needs, staff members, adult volunteers, college student volunteers, and teen helpers are there to lend a hand. The benefits are not just academic, but emotional as well.
"The results are very tangible," said Carr. "It feels great for the volunteers to be able to help someone."
Not only does the Center dole out classroom support, it is also the gateway to sparking an interest in books when students walk through the door. Then again, that didn't appear to be a problem this summer.
According to Brenda Stenberg, the library's youth services manager, completion rates for the Summer Reading Program -- Camp Read-A-Lot -- were up 9 percent this year.
"That's exciting for us," she said. "We wanted to increase that this year, and we did it."
A total of 41 percent of the 1,000 registered with the Summer Reading Program completed the line-up.
Participation in the related programming was also on the rise, she said. Some 130 visitors attended the Madcap puppet show alone, said Stenberg. Other events also drew "excellent" crowds.
Stenberg praised library sponsors who helped make the program possible. Prizes, programming, and other donations were all made possible because of the library's sponsors including Bexley's Parks and Recreation Department, Magic Mountain, Bruegger Bagels, Spoon Me frozen yogurt, United Skates of America, and the Cosi restaurant.
"We really count on them for this program each year," said Stenberg.
That's a good thing, because by February, planning for next year's Summer Reading Program will start all over again.