News: Youth Teen Center hosts children's homework hour
Story by Lance Cpl. Brian Stevens
IWAKUNI, Japan - Students from Matthew C. Perry Elementary School gather Monday through Thursday, 3-4 p.m., for homework hour at the Youth and Teen Center here.
The program has been in place for seven years. Students have 30 minutes directly after school to unwind but as soon as 3 p.m. hits, it's work time. Tutors assist students to ensure they do their assignments correctly.
“They have so many things going on at school, so if they don’t have that extra time they can come here,” said Keesah Barnes,
Marine Corps Community Services program assistant and student tutor.
Students take part in activities outside of school as well, making time management an essential part of their day.
“At 4:15 p.m., most of the kids will leave and go to whatever youth sports they are in,” said Eugene Clark, director of the Youth and Teen Center.
During school months, many parents and students are busy and have strict time schedules.
“During the school year, students have a substantial work load and many kids are in youth sports,” said Clark. “The Marines and sailors aboard the station are working and many of them don't get off until 4:30 or 5 p.m. Our goal is to have their homework completed before they go home so parents can check it after dinner and be prepared for the next day.”
The hour of homework assistance provided by the Youth and Teen Center can be beneficial to everyone.
“This is a win-win situation for everyone, the school, parents and kids,” said Clark.
The homework hour rewards students who attend often and complete their homework in a timely manner.
“We give incentives at the end of each month such as snacks and refreshments,” said Clark. “The goal is to keep them motivated, dedicated and coming back.”
With the program running for seven years straight, it has adapted over time.
“Every year something new is added. Last year, we added the tutor website,” said Clark. “The website allows students to get help on things the tutors might not know. It was added last year but is utilized more this year.”
The overall mission of the hour is to please everyone.
“If the kids and parents are happy, we're happy,” said Clark.