Boys & Girls Clubs of New York Launches Much-Needed Homework Assistance Program

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Charity Projects Entertainment Fund/Idol Gives Back Supports Power Hour – A Proven Homework Program – in Boys & Girls Clubs, Including The Children's Aid Society

Contacts:
Ellen Lubell, The Children’s Aid Society, (w) 212-949-4938, (c) 917-854-6864
Emily Crossan, The Children’s Aid Society, (w) 917-286-1548, (c) 201-344-5742

New York, December 2007 – In response to the call for more effective homework assistance programs for low-income youth, Charity Projects Entertainment Fund (CPEF)/Idol Gives Back is providing $25,000 grants to support the continued implementation of Power Hour in 180 Boys & Girls Clubs in communities with high poverty rates across the country.

This highly successful homework assistance program, implemented by The Children's Aid Society Boys & Girls Club of New York, helps young people come to view homework as an opportunity to learn to work independently, complete projects on time and feel positive about their accomplishments.

“We are grateful to Charity Projects Entertainment Fund for enabling us to continue utilizing such a high-quality homework assistance program like Power Hour,” says C. Warren Moses, CEO of The Children's Aid Society, Boys & Girls Clubs of New York. “So many of the children we serve simply do not have access to the resources necessary for successful homework completion, which is critical to their everyday academic success.”

Power Hour: Making Minutes Count is an interactive, after-school homework assistance program for children ages 6 to 18. Unlike assignments done in class, Power Hour work is conducted in a non-threatening and fun after-school environment using adults or older students, who serve as “Homework Helpers,” to supervise completion of Club members’ homework. Students in Power Hour programming at The Children's Aid Society’s Dunlevy Milbank Center Boys & Girls Club in Harlem use the center’s computer tech lab to work on homework assignments.

In addition to homework help, age-appropriate activities are offered to stimulate Club members’ interest in learning. By explaining the relevance of learning fractions in order to cook a meal, for example, or by showing how geography can enable us to enjoy reading the newspaper, volunteers help Club members learn to value the knowledge homework can bring. Power Hour’s long-term goals are to ensure that youth graduate from high school, pursue postsecondary educations and become life-long learners.

“On behalf of the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund/Idol Gives Back, we are very proud of our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Rick Scott, Director, CPEF Board. “Through Power Hour, Clubs can continue their support and commitment to helping children reach the true ‘Power of their Potential.’”

In addition to “Homework Helpers,” Power Hour offers tips for establishing essential communication with teachers and parents. Research has shown that parental involvement is a must if children are to develop good homework habits. Power Hour also provides incentives for Club members, rewarding them with “Power Points” and charting their academic progress on a colorful poster that is displayed prominently in the Club.

Among the available research on the importance of after-school homework assistance is a recent study conducted by the U.S. Justice and Education Departments. In Working for Children: Safe and Smart After-School Programs (2000), experts reported, “children who are left alone when school ends have more difficulties with their class work than those who participate in after-school programs. Not only is the latter group of students more likely to succeed academically, they are also much more self-confident.” Other studies have linked after-school homework assistance programs to improved behavior at school and an overall increased interest in learning.

About Charity Projects Entertainment FundCPEF (www.cpefund.org) is a charitable organization established in December 2006 to raise money and awareness to help combat extreme poverty in the U.S. and throughout the world, particularly in Africa. CPEF’s mission is to use the power of entertainment to drive positive change to achieve its vision of creating a just world free from poverty. CPEF is inspired and supported by the UK charity that invented Red Nose Day.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of AmericaBoys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of more than 4,000 neighborhood-based facilities, with 4.8 million youth served through Club membership and community outreach, in all 50 states and on U.S. military bases worldwide. Known as “The Positive Place for Kids,” the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children ages 6 to 18, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize character and leadership development, education and career exploration, health and life skills, the arts and sports, fitness and recreation. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

About The Children's Aid Society
The Children’s Aid Society was founded in 1853. It is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving more than 150,000 of New York’s neediest children and their families with a network of services that includes community schools, neighborhood centers, camps, adoption and foster care services, teen pregnancy prevention, education, health and recreation. For more information, please call 212-949-4938 or visit www.childrensaidsociety.org.

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