This year Hopkins-Lloyd Community School continued their Homework Diners, a program they implemented last year to improve students’ academics and better parent communication. Homework Diners is a way to support students, their families and their neighboring communities through academics and family engagement. This kind of diner is an idea our Principal, Ms. Harris saw in action at a Community School while in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2016 while attending the National Community School Forum Conference and we brought it to our school last February. As an MPS Community School, family engagement and academic achievement are at our core, so this program made sense to our school community.
Homework Diners are bi weekly family engagement events that allow students and families to receive homework support from classroom teachers and volunteer tutors while enjoying a free community meal for the whole family. Homework Diners set out to involve parents in the school/ after school community; engage parents in their child’s academic development; invite communication between home and school; and give parents support for homework help and ideas they can use at home.
Each Homework Diner includes three classroom teachers who are able to connect with parents about student homework and grades, volunteers through United Way’s Volunteer Engagement Department who help serve food, help with homework and assist in setting up and taking down of the event, and finally HeartLove Place, whose culinary training students prepares our meals each night. We use this time to not only focus on academics for the children, but also connect with parents; our Community School Coordinator, Mr. Carson, invites various partner organizations to provide resources to families at each diner.
Our first Homework Diner of the year was on October 10th and focused on assisting students with homework, but also provided a space for our 8th grade students and their families to apply for high school and get questions answered about MPS’ early enrollment process. Each diner will have a specific educational focus: In October, we focused on helping families apply to middle and high school through the early enrollment process; in November, our school partners, City Year and Reading Corps will invite their focus list students and families to help them with homework and finally in December we will focus on literacy since we will also be hosting our first My Very Own Library Scholastic Book Fair of the year. We hope you can join us, the upcoming dates are Oct 24th, Nov 14th & 28th and Dec 12th.
Parent testimony: “This program not only lets my son get help with homework, but I don’t have to cook tonight!”
Volunteer Testimony: “I wish I had this while in school, these students get to have dinner with their teachers and parents and get homework help!”
Teacher Testimony: “I get to see a whole other side of my students when they attend homework diners with their parents. They’re more open and willing to accept my help, we get to share dinner together as well!”
Contact Mr. Carson for any questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about the Milwaukee Community School Partnership (MCSP), please visit https://www.unitedwaygmwc.org/Education/Milwaukee-Community-Schools-Partnership to sign up for our newsletter.