BGC Metro Baltimore
Done In Sixty Minutes: ‘Power Hour’ Turns Homework Into A Breeze
Updated: Feb 9
Learning Afterschool: Westport Club Youth Development Coordinator, Lynetric Brightful, helps to further the skills and comprehension of one of our focused Club members.
Heavy sighs are the most frequently heard responses by youth when the two-syllable word ‘homework’ reaches their eardrums. What is often perceived as an extra hour of school, many students view homework as an unwanted chore as compared to enjoying the ‘freedom’ of playing outside with peers in the afternoon sun. Completely understandable, but no one can overlook the value of preparing a young mind for success the next day in the classroom. Power Hour focuses on a critical component of young people’s academic success–homework completion—to improve academic performance, ensure kids are on track to high school graduation, and foster a lifelong love of learning.
“Power Hour is the time in our programming schedule when staff sit down with members to help them with their homework and when we can help to improve some of the issues educators and parents may not be able to identify,” says Nia Taliaferro, Lead Youth Development Coordinator at our Club at The Door. “We know that providing a child the undivided attention they need keeps them engaged in what they’re studying and focused on setting what they’ve learned to memory long after leaving The Club and well into adulthood.”
Every homework assignment counts far beyond the scores determining a student’s grade point average. We know the journey many endure just to gain a better understanding of work in the classroom and take the extra steps with them as their comprehension increases.
Going Step-By-Step: The importance of Power Hour can be seen in Baltimore and on the Eastern Shore. Our Club at the Truitt Community Center in Salisbury is just one example of the collective effort every staff member and volunteer gives to our members.
“This hour of our afterschool programming schedule is when we take the time to work through any difficulties our members may be having one word and one problem at a time,” says Club Manager Enaka Beteck at our Salisbury Club located at the Truitt Community Center on the work of our staff. “You never know how a student learns best until you take the time to see them try to work out a tough question. We look to encourage our members to build on what they’re doing well along with helping them to improve on what’s holding them back academically.”
Self-esteem issues can pose real barriers for underperforming students. Our staff look to help students overcome those internal thoughts that stem from a deep-seated feeling of doubt by creating an upbeat after-school environment that helps bring members up to speed with their classmates and become leaders in life. According to the Afterschool Alliance, one-in-five kids are unsupervised after the school day ends and millions of families don’t have internet access at home. Opening our Blue Doors to welcome youth to the mentorship of our staff and access to high-speed Internet under a watchful eye helps to guide them towards greatness.
“It’s no secret that members of all ages are easily distracted by their smart phones. This generation only knows technology,” Treyana Johnson, O’Donnell Heights Club Coordinator, remarked. “It benefits them, but also interferes with their learning process especially when we can only contribute a certain amount of time to their learning.” The attention our dedicated staff members and volunteers at O’Donnell Heights and our Clubs across the region offer members during Power Hour goes well beyond completing that day’s homework assignment and truly supports the development of broader academic, behavioral and social skills—like perseverance—that will serve kids in all aspects of their lives. “When kids come to ODH, we provide structure and the ability for them to grow as individuals. They have free time which they’re always excited about, but the most important thing is providing them with information that’ll last them for a lifetime. Even help them develop skills that’ll be beneficial to their future—and they know it. Our work reminds them of what’s real and worth their full focus. This helps them to put forth the dedication needed for their success.”
Want to work alongside our Club staff in supporting our members during Power Hour and other Boys & Girls Clubs programming during the critical out-of-school time hours? Click here to complete our volunteer interest form to be a part of the great futures taking shape in Metropolitan Baltimore. Click here to find out how you can add to the impact shaping the lives of our youth all year long.