Meet Emily Mallozzi. Emily is the Community School Resource Coordinator at Agnes Little Elementary School on South Bend St in Pawtucket and a member of the Pawtucket/Central Falls Health Equity Zone (HEZ). Agnes Little is a community school, meaning they actively seek out partnerships with local businesses and organizations to collaborate on strengthening Pawtucket and providing expanded opportunities to our students and their families.
One initiative they are planning is a program called Homework Diners — an evening program that brings together students, parents, and teachers to work together on the student’s homework. Not only do the kids get extra academic instruction, but the parents receive support to help their children accomplish that homework, which is often very challenging (multiplying fractions anyone?!).
After the academic portion of time is over, everyone comes together for a meal. Food always brings people together, and it helps take the burden off parents of preparing a meal that night. Plus it makes the gathering more enjoyable — and more of a draw!
It is powerful for young students to see their teachers and parents working together to ensure their academic success. Talking over a meal helps strengthen the school-to-home connection that is a major factor in academic achievement. One of the goals is that parents will hopefully feel more confident and empowered to help with homework after these sessions, not to mention feeling more comfortable talking with the teacher whenever needed!
Homework Diners first started in New Mexico, and they received a lot of positive media attention (for example, this feature on NBC News).
This week, our Harvest Kitchen trainees assisted in serving the 200+ participants of Homework Diners at Agnes Little Elementary School. What a great collaboration, experience, and learning opportunity for us all!