Teachers helping at Blackstone

Staff Writer

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Library Commissioner Brian Bannon recently announced the expansion of the Chicago Public Library’s homework help program “Teacher in the Library.”

The “Teacher in the Library” after-school homework program has been a part of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) for 12 years. The current program is privately funded through gifts to the CPL Foundation. The program places certified teachers high-need neighborhoods to provide homework assistance.

Through partnerships with local universities, the library will bring undergraduate education students into an additional 21 library locations. CPL will work with local university teacher certification programs and other higher education programs with service learning requirements to provide homework help to students.

Bannon, who is working with the library’s first partner, the University of Illinois at Chicago, to craft the expansion said the extended program will help students at all levels.

“The library is adding to the extensive resources available to help elementary and high school students understand and complete their homework assignments, and at the same time, is providing college students with the opportunity for hands-on-experience helping children that can be applied towards teacher certification,” Bannon said.

CPL said that “Teacher in the Library” is one of its most popular programs and Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city is expanding the program because it is “the best free after school homework program available to schoolchildren anywhere.”

“Parents constantly praise the positive impact their branch’s Teacher in the Library has made on their child’s grades and confidence in school,” Emanuel said.

The program serves 58,000 kids each year. Students are encouraged to bring their homework from any subject for after school help. Teachers in the Library provide assistance on a variety of topics for students of all ages, including high school students who need help understanding more difficult subjects or writing papers.

The Blackstone Branch Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave., has had its program since 2008. Private donor Deborah Bricker funds Blackstone’s program and Moses Jones, a retired teacher and Tuskegee Airman, helps students with their homework assignments every Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.