"Homework Helpers" serve as tutors for elementary school student - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

"Homework Helpers" serve as tutors, mentors for elementary school students

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MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) -

Everyone needs a little help with their homework sometimes. That's why a group of area high schoolers has stepped up to become volunteer tutors.

They help elementary students with their homework each week, but they also teach them much more.

Once a week, a bus carrying a special group of elementary students stops in Midlothian. The group waiting for them is not their parents, but they are certainly an important part of the kids' lives. They are high school students known as "Homework Helpers".

28 helpers and 28 elementary students meet every week for a one-on-one study session. They also play different learning games and other fun activities.

"They help us so much with our homework that we learn every step that we need to learn, so we get really good grades on our homework," said 9-year-old Destinee Taylor.

Taylor has been working with her tutor Kinsey for about eight weeks now. They have been working on fractions and multiplication - something that the fourth grader used to find difficult.

"My math teacher and my teacher, they feel like I have like gone a big step in what I have to learn and they really think I am improving well," said Taylor.

That's just one of the many success stories Ginger Pridgen has been hearing and seeing since she started the program back in the fall of 2011, and it's not just stories in academics.

"It has been just a wonderful thing, to see the elementary kids and the high schoolers bonding - an opportunity for the little ones to learn and get extra help, but also very much for the high schoolers to step out of their bubble and really see what it feels like to make a difference in somebody else's life," said Pridgen.

Midlothian High School senior Jacob Creamer has made a big difference in Jose Leyva's life, and Jacob feels the same about Jose.

"I really enjoy just getting to know the kids, and, you know, just having fun learning, helping them learn, and I learn a lot too. It's fun," said Creamer.

Many of the "Homework Helpers" are students at Midlothian and James River high schools.

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