The Homework Zone After-School Program is a student mentorship opportunity that is designed with the whole child in mind. Aiming to increase access to education (specifically post-secondary), McGill students will be partnered with elementary-aged students in Montreal’s southwest to scaffold learning and empowerment. Elementary students encouraged to join this program would have the ability to succeed if given the proper tools and support, though currently may be displaying inadequacies academically and/or socially. Students selected may also be performing above expectations and would benefit from creative encouragement. Other students may simply benefit from regularly interacting with an adult/older youth figure. The program occurs once per week for 1.5 hours after-school.
Homework Zone is brought to you by the Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) Office of McGill University. Following standards found in the Principal’s Task Force on Diversity, Excellence and Community Engagement, we have developed a pedagogical method that re-examines the meaning of post-secondary education for both mentors and students.
Academically, our mentors focus on basic literacy, Mathematics and French. We believe it is important to bring ‘successful’ young adults into the schools to show children that it is okay to love learning. We encourage our mentors to take advantage of the small-group tutoring to break down concepts and give the children the tools to finish the homework independently.
Socially, Homework Zone has shown student improvement in terms of communication/expression, peer interaction and self-regulation. Homework Zone sessions devote half of the time allotted to creative activities and interactive workshops. By introducing students to new skills, new ideas and new people, we believe Homework Zone helps each child develop his/her identity and self-confidence.
Homework Zone is the result of a recent push by the provincial government for schools and school boards to reach out and partner with local community organizations. This initiative stems from a belief held in common with Homework Zone: students will persevere and succeed in school when a whole community supports their education.
As part of this initiative, Montreal Hooked On Schools has reached out to all Montreal schoolboards to provide support for these community partnerships. For their 2012 review, Homework Zone was chosen as one of a handful of projects that Hooked on Schools has supported: