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Help with homework

New Moorestown library program aids students in all grades

The Moorestown library has a new initiative for students in kindergarten through high school that will take place on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m.

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Homework Helpers – held in the library’s computer lab – has retired volunteers Mary Heselton and Elaine Young assisting students with English and social studies at all levels and math and science through middle school.

Registration is not required for the free program but children under 10 must be accompanied by a caregiver.

Young was a volunteer at Kids Alley in Pennsauken before she decided she no longer wanted to commute that far. She sought volunteer opportunities closer to home and – long story short – connected with Jen Dunne, the library’s head of youth services. Now Young looks forward to helping with homework.

“It’s a low-stakes way to seek help,” she noted.

Dunne said there has always been a need for a program like Homework Helpers, but the library didn’t have the space and the labor to get it done until recently.

“Two things came together,” she related. “Our computer lab is now open for programming. Instead of hard-wired computers, we have laptops that we can put down when we need them and take them away when we don’t, so the room is a really flexible space. And we can do lots of different things with it.”

The other thing that happened was that Dunne, Heselton and Young worked on Homework Helpers and kicked it off earlier this month.

“I think having one-on-one help from someone who is not your parent … it takes the stress off, so it’s just someone who is happy to be there helping you,” Dunne related. “That’s what they’re there for, they’re just there to help.

“I think that’s a really great resource for kids,” she added, “where you can just have the one-on-one attention to sit down with someone who’s patient and knowledgeable outside of the school setting and just look at this stuff (with) fresh eyes.”

Looking ahead, Dunne is excited for the library’s Lunar New Year celebration – co-hosted by MooreUnity, members of the Moorestown Chinese American community and the library – on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 10 a.m. The event is expected to include Asian arts, crafts, calligraphy, Chinese knotting and lantern making.

A second Lunar New Year event will take place on the following Saturday at 2 p.m., and a final one will be held on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m.

“I think just seeing the diversity of experiences that are being offered,” Dunne said of what she expects from the Lunar New Year celebration. “I think because so many different members of the community are coming together, there’s a lot that they can showcase …

“It just looks like an interesting and diverse array of activities, something for everyone, all interests and all age groups as well.”

For more information on library programs, visit www.moorestownlibrary.org.

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