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Never fear, homework help is here

Ahfachkee third grader Vanessa Osceola pays attention to the teacher assistant, who helps her understand the assignments during an after school homework help session Sept. 8.
Ahfachkee third grader Vanessa Osceola pays attention to the teacher assistant, who helps her understand the assignments during an after school homework help session Sept. 8. (Beverly Bidney photo)

Every student, even those with straight A’s, could use a little help with homework from time to time. To fill that need, assistance is available every day after school on most reservations.

“Homework help is a very basic summary of what the student has to complete that day,” said tribal-wide tutor coordinator Charvelle McClendon. “It doesn’t go into the curriculum in depth.”

To get their children the homework help they may need, parents should contact the Education Department in person, by email or telephone. The hours and locations vary on each reservation. On Big Cypress, homework help can be found at the Ahfachkee School every day after school from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the cafeteria. Parents may sign up their children at the school.

In Brighton, help is provided at Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Parents may register their kids in the school’s office. In Hollywood, homework help is available at the Education Department on the second floor of the DSO building every weekday from 2:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Immokalee has four teachers from local schools ready to help students with their homework assignments daily from 2:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Education Department on the second floor of the field office.

Students tend to trickle in during the afternoon since schooldays end at different times during the day, something McClendon said helps keep the numbers down at any given time and allows learners to concentrate on their work.

One September afternoon in Ahfachkee’s cafeteria, students and teacher assistants worked quietly and diligently to get through assignments. Questions were answered and problems were explained.

“It’s helpful,” said Ahfachkee fifth-grader Mauro Avalos, 11. “When I get home, I don’t have to do it. Here I get my homework done right; at home I don’t always get it right.”

Homework help is a service, but it isn’t tutoring. For more in depth help with academics, the Tribe offers four to six hours of one-on-one tutoring per week, provided by professional tutoring companies. For information about tutoring, contact McClendon at 954-983-6840 ext. 10501 or send an email to charvellemclendon@semtribe.com.

The Ahfachkee cafeteria becomes a study hall during an after school homework help session Sept. 8. Reyna Rios, center, pays attention to the teacher assistant who explains the assignment she must complete.
The Ahfachkee cafeteria becomes a study hall during an after school homework help session Sept. 8. Reyna Rios, center, pays attention to the teacher assistant who explains the assignment she must complete. (Beverly Bidney photo)
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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.
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