Sherman Elementary School students needing homework help have an advantage this year: a new after-school program, called PowerHour, that lets them get assistance in their own building.
It's a big amenity, said third-grader Terry Gaiter, who has difficulty with subtraction. He was among the 30 to 40 children making use of PowerHour yesterday.
Kimberly Schroeder, a Sherman teacher, was helping him in the library.
How would Terry do the homework otherwise? "Badly. Because my mom works and my dad works," Terry, 9, said.
The program is made possible with a $25,000 grant obtained by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Toledo, which has a North Toledo unit located at Sherman. It successfully applied for the grant from the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund, which received financing from television's American Idol fund-raiser show called Idol Gives Back.
The grant pays for two teachers to stay from 3:30 to 6 p.m., as well as for school supplies. The program has made a difference, Sherman Principal Anthony Bronaugh said.
"It's working out well. I can honestly say I have not had any teacher complaints that the kids were turning in bad homework. They have a safe, caring place to get help with it now," he said.
Miss Schroeder agreed.
"I think it really helps the Sherman kids a lot," she said.
The PowerHour participants also can get a hot catered dinner thanks to another, unrelated grant obtained by the Boys and Girls Clubs.
These meals are provided to children participating in the Clubs' activities at Sherman.
"[The students] come down from their classes and they have teachers here to help them, and they get fed," David Wehrmeister, the Boys and Girls Clubs' executive director, said.
Anthony Lemons, another third grader, said PowerHour and Miss Schroeder are helping him with multiplication.
"Without it, I'd just have to do the homework by myself," Anthony said.
Shakhayla Thornton, also a third grader, said much the same. She needed help with "taking away," or subtraction.
American Idol canceled its fund-raiser show this year because of the declining economy. Mr. Wehrmeister said he was exploring other potential funding sources so PowerHour could be continued next school year.
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