Homework help program looks to growA week long program to help students in the Rosemount Woods neighborhood has left volunteers wanting to do more
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
In October, a group of volunteers organized through the One Rosemount community group offered homework help to the students living in the Rosemount Woods neighborhood for a week. It was a trial run. The group just wanted to see how the initiative would go and if there was interest in a longer term program.
Apparently, there is. The week long effort drew a steady group of students seeking help and Red Pine Elementary School principal Gary Anger said he felt the volunteers made positive connections with them.
“We’re as pleased as could be,” Anger said. “It was pretty powerful stuff.”
Between 60 and 70 kids live in the area. The idea for the initiative came after a Safety in the Parks event was held in the manufactured home community this summer.
Community resources officer Beth Richtsmeier said from day one the event drew at least a handful of kids that covered a wide range of ages, and on at least one day it drew 15 students.
The effort left volunteers wanting to do more, and Anger said they are working to expand the effort. Volunteers from various groups including Red Pine teachers, members of City on a Hill Church, representatives from 360 Communities and the Rosemount Police Department, helped facilitate the event.
City on A Hill Pastor Bruce Bentley said the members of his church were glad to help students and that there were students who definitely benefited from the help.
“We saw kids who legitamately need help. There’s definitely a desire to keep something going,” said Bentley.
Currently the Rosemount Family Resource Center offers a similar homework help program but many of the students that live in the Rosemount Woods neighborhood cannot get to the center for help.
Richtsmeier said the group hopes to build on the success and bring the help to Rosemount Woods. Plans are in the works to offer homework help on-site but there is one big problem: there is no physical location to hold the sessions.
The October event was held in a tornado shelter, but in the winter that shelter serves as a storage facility for community. Richtsmeier said they are hoping to put a temporary shelter park on the property.
The group is working with the company that owns Rosemount Woods to get permission to put portable housing on the property. Additionally, the group hopes to secure money to rent a small building. Richtsmeier said the building would be similar to the warming houses used at the city’s ice rinks in the winter.
If they can pull it off, Anger said they hope to be able to offer homework help to the children in Rosemount Woods sometime this winter.
“We have volunteers to pull it off … we just need to find financial support,” said Anger.
Overall, Anger said it’s exciting to be part of the One Rosemount group and its efforts to make Rosemount a better place to live. The group is made up leaders from organizations including the city, the library, churches, schools and businesses.
“It’s so exciting to be part of this collaborative effort,” said Anger.
For more information about the program or to help call Richtsmeier at 651-322-2012.