Mayor Emanuel and Library Commissioner Brian Bannon announced today the Chicago Public Library’s popular homework help program, “Teacher in the Library,” will be expanded to all neighborhood branches. Through partnerships with local universities, the Library will bring undergraduate education students into an additional 21 library locations to assist children with their homework during after school hours.
“Teacher in the Library is one of the only programs of its kind in public libraries and this expansion solidifies it as the best free after school homework program available to schoolchildren anywhere,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Parents constantly praise the positive impact their branch’s Teacher in the Library has made on their child’s grades and confidence in school.”
Bannon worked with the University of Illinois at Chicago to craft the expansion, which provides children with more assistance and develops a pipeline for “teachers in training” to gain hands-on learning experiences.
“The Library is adding to the extensive resources available to help elementary and high school students understand and complete their homework assignments, and at the same time, is providing college students with the opportunity for hands-on-experience helping children that can be applied towards teacher certification,” said Bannon.
To support this goal, the Library will work with local university teacher certification programs, as well as other higher education programs with service learning requirements. University of Illinois at Chicago was the first education school to sign on to this innovative program expansion.
“We have always appreciated the fine programs offered by the Chicago Public Library and are grateful to be given the opportunity to partner with Teacher in the Library. This will offer our students a great opportunity to gain hands-on community service while working with a well-respected institution,” said Cynthia Shanahan, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Executive Director, Council on Teacher Education, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education.
By establishing partnerships with local universities, the Library is able to offer additional programs and services without any increased cost to taxpayers.
The current Teacher in the Library program is completely privately funded through gifts to the Chicago Public Library Foundation and places certified teachers in high-need neighborhoods to provide after school homework assistance. This program has grown from 10 to 57 library locations since 2005, and is an effective and highly valued way to help children learn for success.
The Teacher in the Library program serves 58,000 kids through 120,000 homework help interactions each year.
Students are encouraged to bring their homework from any subject for after school help. Teachers in the Library provide assistance on a variety of topics for students of all ages, including high school students who need help understanding more difficult subjects or writing papers.