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The City Journals

Teen Tech Center expands hours to provide free homework help

Nov 11, 2020 11:39AM ● By Bill Hardesty

Homework help is available at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center. (Image by Scott Graham on Unsplash)

By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]

This school year, distance learning is a reality. Depending on the COVID infection rates, students could be switched to online learning within 24 hours. Other students are doing an A and B schedule with the off day being a distance learning day. Finally, students in Granite School District have a distance learning day every Friday.

Switching to distance learning can be difficult for students. Some students see distance learning days as days off from school rather than a school day.

“We found that students doing an A and B schedule were viewing the day they weren’t physically at school as a day off from school, but teachers were assigning work to be done,” said Kayla Mayers, the Best Buy Teen Tech Center coordinator.

SCOL grant

Promise SSL was awarded a Safe Center for Online Learning (SCOL) grant through the Clubhouse Network. This grant allows Promise SSL to hire two tutors at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center at the Columbus Center (2531 S. 400 East).

“We are in the process of hiring them,” Mayers said.

The grant goes through Dec. 31. However, depending on the need, the grant could be extended.

Open now

Not waiting for the tutors to be hired, the center extended their hours starting Oct. 12. They are open for homework help from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Their regular after-school tech time runs from 3-6 p.m. They can have 10 students in the center at a time.

There is no cost for homework help. Because of construction, students need to walk through the courtyard and enter the center through the southwest door.

Tutors and center staff help youth with homework questions and lead them to resources to help them complete their own work. 

“We have a staff member who graduated with a degree in math. I came in [last Monday] and our entire white board table was filled with math information,” Mayers said. 

Barriers to online learning

Besides the lack of personal motivation, other students lack the resources. They may have a slow internet connection or none at all. They might have to share a computer or other device with family members. 

“Here, each student will have their own computer,” Mayers said.

A final advantage to using the Best Buy Teen Tech Center is a place to do the work. When you are trying to understand derivatives for your math class or writing a five paragraph essay for your English class or memorizing elements of the periodic table for chemistry, doing so at the kitchen table with a TV blaring in the other room and siblings arguing over the remote makes learning even more difficult.

Going to the Best Buy Teen Tech Center gives students a space to do their work without distractions and, as a bonus, there are people who can help.

The Clubhouse Network

Best Buy built the Teen Tech Center along with The Clubhouse Network.

The Clubhouse Network is an international nonprofit with roots in Boston. They started in 1993 at the Computer Museum and have grown to over 100 clubhouses in 20 countries serving over 25,000 youth.

Each Clubhouse provides a creative, safe, and free out-of-school learning environment where young people from underserved communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop new skills, and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology,” according to The Clubhouse Network’s website, theclubhousenetwork.org.

For further information, contact Kayla Mayers at [email protected] or 801-455-0994.



 

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