West Side News

Columbus Metropolitan Library

Homework Help Centers open for new school year


For the 10th year in a row, the Columbus Metropolitan Library system is offering kids a place to study after school.

CML on Monday launched the Homework Help Centers, which are available at all 21 locations throughout the school year.

Ben Zenitsky, library spokesman, said the homework centers serve all students in grades K-12. Kids have access to computers, printers and the library's digital resources.

There is no charge or registration necessary to use the centers, but a library card is required.

Students once again have access to "kids cards," introduced last year, which allow them to check out three age-appropriate books at a time without having to worry about overdue charges, Zenitsky said.

Students and parents can visit CML's website -- columbuslibrary.org/services/hhc -- to check on operating hours for individual help centers, which vary from branch to branch.

Homework Help Centers got their start in 2004 at the Linden Branch and were adopted by each branch through 2011.

Officials hope to top the 77,000 help center visits last year, he said.

"If you go to some of these branches, there's a lot of energy, there's a lot of fun," Zenitsky said. "We're seeing a lot of staff members building a relationship with a lot of these kids and that's what it's all about -- helping these kids succeed."

CML also will continue its Reading Buddies program, where kindergarten through third-graders can get 15 minutes of one-on-one reading practice with a staff member or volunteer.

Help centers and Reading Buddies are just a few of things CML offers to students throughout the year, Zenitsky said. For example, the library just wrapped up its annual Summer Reading Club, where students kept their reading skills strong and competed for prizes.

"We're excited to provide what we call out-of-school learning opportunities," Zenitsky said.