Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said the recently launched “Our Homework Helpers” program is off to a roaring start.
After running a successful four-week pilot program that helped approximately 100 students in Throggs Neck, Assemblywoman Ocasio-Cortez decided to launch a virtual Homework Helpers program.
“Our Homework Helpers program is off to a roaring start! I can’t thank you all enough. Our call for volunteer tutors to help families w/remote learning yielded *11,000* volunteers! Your response was so inspiring that I decided to sign up for 4 hrs too,” tweeted New York’s 14th congressional district US representative Wednesday.
The campaign currently has 120 trained tutors and is recruiting more volunteers, specifically tutors who speak Spanish, Bangla, Urdu, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, French, and Kru, to be able to help the diverse constituencies in NY-14.
Volunteers are supported and trained by experienced educators. Interested tutors can sign up via a Google form. With the new school closures, Team AOC has set a goal of serving 1,000 students for the 2020-2021 school year.
Ocasio-Cortez also hopes that the program might serve as a model that can be replicated across the country. The campaign is encouraging state and local lawmakers to consider a universal homework helpers program, much like universal pre-K.
Ocasio-Cortez notes, "As elected officials, we should step in to support our constituents when systems fail to do so."
But parents can also take the initiative to spearhead a local version of Homework Helpers themselves. "Anyone can do this," says Soto. "We encourage everyone—parents or high school students—to work with their PTAs to reach out to your local community. If you have 20 people who are willing to give one hour per week for four weeks, you'll be able to service an entire class."