Looking to the Future

Close up of boy

What are the children from homework club looking forward to in 2014?  I had the opportunity to go over to Lakeside Apartments on New Year’s Eve and ask them.

I started talking with a few of the girls in a group. Their initial responses to the question, “What do you want for the new year?” were:

“Candy”, “More candy”, and “Cherries”.

Apparently snack is a popular topic of conversation.

After an exhaustive debate about how to improve snack we moved onto other themes. They talked at length about each individual homework club volunteer, concurring with one another on the strengths and qualities of each, reminiscing about past volunteers, and telling us that they want more volunteers this year.

When I spoke with the children one-on-one, the conversation changed a little and they began to talk about school and how much homework club is helping. A seventh grader who has been in the program since it started last February said,

“If it weren’t for homework club, my grades would be like “F’s”, but now they’re “C’s” and “B’s” and “A’s” [pause] and one “D”, in math.”  She went on to say, “Last year I wasn’t trying, but this year Alma is pushing me and helping me to realize that I can get good grades and maybe get a scholarship to college”.

Alma Ventura, the Youth Enrichment Coordinator at Lakeside, was also there helping and listening. Together, we learned a lot. Not only that snack is crucial, but that the relationship with the volunteers is more important to the children than we thought, and that the program does have an impact on their beliefs in their own potential.

Here’s a list of some other things the children want for the New Year:

  1. Have the pool open year round
  2. Separate the homework club by grades (good advice, we are doing that)
  3. To be drama free
  4. Have more time to play games
  5. Get good grades
  6. Cherries, apples, and oranges
  7. Math games
  8. More nice persons (i.e. volunteers)

Although we may not be able to support all their wishes for 2014 (such as “more candy”), I think we can help with a few.  Happy New Year!

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