The Homework Hub is an initiative by the Pakenham Uniting Church Children and Families Ministry mission under the guidance of Pastor Jo Crisp. The program was delighted to welcome a new co-coordinator Narelle Maxwell at the start of 2020. This project greatly supports the educational and social needs of children from migrant and refugee families who have settled in the Pakenham/Officer area.
This homework supervision program is run every Tuesday after school when St Patrick’s Primary students make the short journey from school to the Pakenham Uniting Church hall for homework tutoring. Many of the volunteer tutors are not only volunteers from the Pakenham Uniting Church congregation but also from high school students attending the local Lutheran Lakeside College.
This Homework Hub is often times helping young students whose families at home speak very little or sometimes no English at all. Most of the tutoring done is to support these students in their English or Mathematics studies.
The students begin the afternoon with a healthy fruit snack followed by a semi-organised run around outside if weather permits. After that comes the serious business of the homework tutoring. Following that a simple meal is offered for the students prior to finishing the afternoon’s session.
Pastor Jo Crisp has stated in the February 2020 “Crosslight” magazine,
“I see it as really important ministry to the kids. They really enjoy eating the afternoon tea and we sit down together at the end and have a meal as well. It’s not just about homework, it’s about spending time with them and building relationships with them and showing hospitality to them. Some of the kids here have been quite troubled, some weren’t able at the start of the year to sit and eat for instance. They would just wander around. You can see them developing socially.”
“I see it as a clear missional activity, but it’s not the aim to get them here on a Sunday morning. Some of the families have asked if there are other areas we can connect them to. So we have referred them to Uniting Vic. Tas. Depending on the needs of the families, we can show them the different resources. I think it’s a great way to show our face in the community. “
“Homework Hub is a practical way in which Pakenham Uniting Church can show the character of Jesus, by being love in action to our local community. We aim to help the families build relationships with each other, as well as with us.”
Toorak Uniting Church is pleased to help support The Homework Hub to assist them in providing meals, and other resources such as stationary for this significant outreach for those in this community who are in need.
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