New literacy program aims toward helping younger students succeed.
In the spring of 2015, ICO began a pilot program in Yorkwoods Public School, a school south of Jane and Finch that serves children grades K to 5. Starting the program made a lot of sense as Yorkwoods is one of the feeder schools to Oakdale Park Middle School, another host school for ICO’s homework program.
Providing support for students from grades one to five, the Yorkwoods program would promote good study skills from an early age that would benefit students as they transition into middle school and beyond. Upon completion of the pilot program in June of this year, it was decided by ICO staff and Yorkwoods Public School that the program was successful and to continue the program in the fall, expanding to commit to a full school year.
The focus of the program is to assist students with completion of homework sent by their classroom teacher. Although the homework club only runs on Wednesdays currently, it ensures that at least once a week students have an adult available to supervise and assist them in homework completion. In addition to completing the homework, mentors make sure that students are submitting their best work by identifying errors and helping make the necessary corrections, addressing gaps in the student’s learning and giving instruction to bridge these gaps, and supplying extra enrichment where possible to reinforce the skills learned in class. The ratio of mentors to students (1:4) is kept as low as possible to ensure that students are given as much attention as necessary.
The obstacle for many of our students is opportunity, not ability. With homework clubs like Yorkwoods P.S. Homework Club, Inner City Outreach is providing the opportunity for students to work on academic skills and access to academic support. With this opportunity, students are bringing a natural inquiry and desire to learn, and lifelong learners are nurtured to see that the world is full of possibilities for them to choose from.