Afterschool Homework Help at the Library Gives Students a Leg Up on Their Studies

Homework. The “H-bomb” every parent dreads having dropped on them by their kids. Not because they don’t want to help their child, but simply because sometimes they don’t know how. Which is why the Library offers Homework Helpers to provide free homework help to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Students can find help with their assignments and building skills such as reading and math at 19 branch libraries in the afternoons during the school year. In addition, homework help and skill building is available seven days a week at the Main Library in the William Hueneke Homework Center.

“The Homework Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary and over the years we have had over 40,000 homework help sessions,” said Keith Armour, Education & Homework Support Manager. "Students that started with us in kindergarten are now coming in to share their college plans.” 

The Library Foundation of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, opens a new window was the recipient of one of the grants handed out by the Charles H. Dater Foundation last December. The Library Foundation was awarded $50,000 to support the Homework Helpers program at the Library.

The branch libraries that have Homework Helpers are: Cheviot, College Hill, Corryville, Covedale, Deer Park, Elmwood, Forest Park, Groesbeck, Mt. Healthy, Miami Township, North Central, Northside, Oakley, Pleasant Ridge, Sharonville, Reading, Walnut Hills, West End, and Westwood.

One of these Helpers is Andy Han, who works out of the Sharonville Branch which is in the Princeton School District. 

“Princeton has strong socioeconomic diversity, as well as high academic performance," said Han. "So while many of the students can afford a tutor, many can’t — and the Homework Help program is free."

He said the kids he’s worked with so far have generally been recommended for the program by a teacher at school for extra help. But he hopes more kids come to him on their own as word about the program spreads.

“I have great memories of my dad helping me with my homework when I was younger. I try to emulate his strategies, and his patience,” said Han. “It’s really wonderful to be part of something like the Library, especially the Homework Help program.”

For students who don’t live near a branch with a Homework Helper, or who need help in the evenings and on weekends, the Library offers BrainFuse—HelpNow. HelpNow is an online resource that has tutors available from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. It also has skills building, practice tests, and language labs. There’s even a section for adults who need help with U.S. citizenship testing, résumé and cover letters, and core skills building.

All students, from kindergarten through adults, can log onto HelpNow for help with these subjects: 

  • Math, including algebra I, algebra II, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus
  • Science, including biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth science
  •  Social studies, including U.S. history, and world history
  • English/language arts
  • Writing assistance
  • Reading comprehension/grammar/vocabulary skills building
  • English literature
  • Spanish language help