Last month, Highland Circle members volunteered at Homework Diners. These are weekly family engagement events that allow students and families to receive homework support from paid teachers and volunteer tutors and a free meal for the whole family.
"I enjoyed working with my student as we talked through his math assignment, and I also enjoyed seeing his family there as well showing interest in his work and appreciation of our willingness to help," said Highland Circle member Travis Boyer. "These diners are a great way to get the family together over a warm meal and to support students as they develop good homework habits."
Homework Diners are currently take place at three area middle schools, Asheville, Enka, and Erwin. Homework Diners are open to any family in the surrounding school district, whether they have a child attending the middle school or not. Attendees will also have a chance to learn about community resources and take advantage of a variety of educational programs at these events.
"I got to look at each of them while serving them food with a smile. I asked them how was your day? Most said your typical teenager move… fine. I pressed further, really how was it today? Every one of them didn’t say fine again, they actually told me in a word or two, how there day was," said Highland Circle member Emily Wheeler. "When I left that afternoon, I went home and ask my own children, how was your day? They said fine, but I pressed further. I found out that my 13 year old made a 100 on a pop quiz, and my 20 year old told me about an encounter with an elderly lady that ended with a sweet hug. Press further, feed them, tutor them, ask them, really ask them, and listen when they tell you. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to serving again."
We rely on volunteer power to help carry out these events as there are many moving parts to make it happen. The volunteer positions available are:
Set-up/Registration/Welcome (4:30-6:15pm) – these volunteers will help with setup, registration and checking families in.
Food Support (5:15-7:15pm)– these volunteers will help to serve the meals to the families. This will include serving and clean up afterwards.
Tutoring Support (5:15p-7p) – these volunteers will float around and work with students and their families to help them understand and complete their homework.
If you're willing to make a long-term commitment to becoming a tutor, you can sign up through each of the links below:
Or you can sign up for all currently posted Homework Diner events by clicking here.
Volunteering is a great chance for team-building with a group and Homework Diners are a perfect fit. One way to approach it is to “adopt” a night. This would mean the group would take on the responsibility of recruiting the volunteers needed for a particular night. This is about 10 people. If the group wants to do that on a regular basis, a schedule could be set up to reserve the spots, ie. Your group is volunteering the 1st Tuesday of every month. If you have a group and are interested in volunteering with Homework Diners on an ongoing basis, please contact Sarah Roth, Volunteer Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 828-239-1032 for more details on how to get involved.