Friday, February 23, 2024

Help with Homework

For a moment, cast your mind back on being a child bringing home your homework. In the past, books in various subjects were lugged by you. You might recall a time where you struggled in a subject. Maybe you didn't want to ask for help but then you did. Most likely this help came from a parent or a sibling. You were lucky.

What if there had been no one to help you day after day, you struggled, and were bullied because you couldn't read or speak English or do math? This is the sad true situation for thousands of elementary age children who will never get the basics they need to succeed in school. More than 13 years ago, in Redwood City, in Verbo Family Services church, a small after school tutoring program started inside the church.

Volunteer adults sat one to one with their child who needed help. It wasn't all work because there were snacks and games and a welcoming environment in a Sunday school room. Children were recommended for this help from a nearby elementary school.

This Redwood City program birthed a new help with homework program under Glenn Inn, a deacon in a Korean church in San Jose. This man, who worked full time, had a mission heart to reach out to the Hispanic children in apartments surrounding the church. Why did he do this so well and succeed? Because he had come to America from Korea with his family as a child and been bullied.

It is a terrible thing to mark a child with ridicule and hate because they do not conform. Children can be mean and judgmental. They can hurt a child so badly they hate school and stop trying.

Inside a church is an ideal place to provide homework heloers. The church provides the structure, the space, the times and has staff during the tutoring. We encourage men to participate as leaders because In so many of the families we serve, there is no dad there.

Does this make difference? We know that it does. When a child feels he has someone who can help he will get a shot of encouragement. The adults in the room make sure each child gets celebrated. Frequently, there is a party at the end of each term.

As an educator I can only say that if you had just a few hours to give and get the most joy, serve a needy child. Will you stop right and pray now in earnest from your heart about becoming a homework helper?

Will you ask for prayer from your church to consider such a program?

Thank you for sharing and becoming a part of something that will give a child hope and a future and bring families into the church. God hears the prayer of the poor and him who has no helper.

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