The Neuse Regional Libraries have taken active steps to collaborate with students, parents, teachers, principals and the Kinston Housing Authority to explore better ways to engage students in learning during these trying times. The Library established Homework Help programs throughout Lenoir, Jones and Greene counties to provide students and parents additional resources, one-on-one tutoring, and access to Wi-Fi to help support learning.
Despite initial success, once popular programs like Homework Help and STEM 4 All experienced a sharp decline in attendance in the new year, leaving staff members pondering: what happened? As we dove deeper into the issues of low attendance and had honest conversations with local organizations and schools, we discovered the lack of student engagement was not unique to Homework Help and the STEM 4 ALL program, but far reaching and widespread. It seemed as if students had checked out of learning, and parents were left struggling to help their children get back on course.
With students’ level of active participation in school and afterschool programs like Homework Help and STEM 4 ALL dwindling, the Library reached out to Northeast Elementary and the Kinston Housing Authority to develop a plan to reignite enthusiasm for learning through a Town Hall meeting at the Jack Rountree Apartments.
On Wednesday, February, 24, 2021, Mr. Curmon, Principal of Northeast Elementary; teachers; parents; and library staff; met to discuss the importance of student engagement in their children’s educational journey and resources available. Mr. Curmon gave an impassioned “it takes a village to raise a child” speech emphasizing the importance of everyone’s role in helping children grow and prosper in the world. Dawn Whitfield, the Jack Rountree Apartment Manager acted as a moderator to help parents express their struggles over the past academic year with lack of familiarity with the Seesaw platform, the curriculum and internet connectivity. Sharon Mervin, the STEM 4 All Outreach Librarian shared resources and programs available to help students get back on course and prepare for the End of Grade tests.
In the end, parents left with the knowledge, resources, and support they needed to better equip their children for the last quarter of the academic year. By working together as a village, we as a whole, can overcome the obstacles we face today for a brighter future tomorrow.Special thanks to Northeast Elementary, the Kinston Housing Authority and Neuse Regional Library staff members for always going above and beyond to help our children succeed in life, and be active participants in their education.
If interested, Homework Help is held 4:30 to 6:00 pm on Tuesday and Thursdays at the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library; Tuesdays at the La Grange Public Library and Pink Hill Public Library; and Wednesdays at the Greene County Public Library, Pollocksville Public Library and Trenton Public Library. The Library also offers a wide array of STEM programming for all ages. For more information on library services or programming, please give us a call at 252-527-7066, Ext. 134 or visit us at neuselibrary.org. Also don’t forget the Book Sale ends March 10, drop by the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library to find your next great read!