In 2008, Bloomingdale initiated Homework Help, an afterschool program designed to ensure that our children with special needs receive our continuing support after they move on to elementary school. Staffed by Bloomingdale teachers, the program helps the children maintain continued progress and successfully meet the academic challenges in their present classrooms. This support begins in kindergarten and continues through third grade.
All those enrolled in Homework Help are children who received Bloomingdale Preventive Services as preschoolers and who successfully earned admission to mainstream classes when they moved on to elementary school.
Primarily from Spanish-speaking families, the children meet throughout the school year for two-hour sessions, three afternoons a week. They work in small groups with skilled, bi-lingual teachers, with whom they are already familiar and comfortable. The teachers review and reinforce the children’s classwork and support completion of their homework assignments.
Parents value the program and participate in the related parent activities that are offered during the program’s afternoon sessions. They take part in ongoing ESL classes and in workshops and discussion groups focusing on the needs and aspirations of their families and community. Most of the parents attend regularly with their children.
Over the past ten years, Homework Help has enabled vulnerable children to consistently perform at or above grade level and to demonstrate continued school progress. Although Homework Help focuses on children through third grade, its impact is long lasting. The strong foundation and study skills children gain in Homework Help are reflected in their continued high aspirations and performance through high school.