Older students help younger ones with school work
EVERETT - At an unassuming community center in north Everett, young kids are learning their ABCs but with a twist.
Their teachers are a few years older than they are.
Neighborhood kids from North Middle School are tutoring younger Hawthorne Elementary students at the Grandview Our Place Community Center, which is located in the public housing neighborhood of Grandview.
The former military housing neighborhood nestled near the intersection of Broadway and East Marine View Drive houses about 500 low-income residents, of which about 300 are kids, said Teena Ellison, Everett Housing Authority family support supervisor.
“This has taken off,” Donna Noble said with a grin. Noble is the family services coordinator for Everett Housing Authority.
A group of five kids decided to teach at the center last year and bought school supplies at the dollar store to conduct homework time, Noble said.
“They even went and got a day planner to stay organized,” Noble said.
The young teachers have homework time rigorously scheduled. There are set times for writing, math, science, lunch and recess.
About 20 kids drop in for two hours of homework time every afternoon. The teachers keep their students on track.
Part of student teacher Ilona Mazur’s afternoon was spent teaching Cielo Priller, 5, her ABCs and how to count.
“It’s real fun, it’s fun to teach kids,” said Mazur, 12, who is in the seventh grade. She wants to become a teacher.
At the next table, 11-year-old Mira Kavaliova’s students learned how to identify coins.
Kindergartner Abdala Hassani said it is fun to come to homework club. “We learn a lot,” Hassani, 6, said.
“I wanted to teach kids because I love playing school,” Kavaliova said.
The Grandview area is a diverse neighborhood. Everett Housing Authority representatives believe at least nine different languages are spoken here.
“It’s like the Ellis Island of Everett,” Ellison said.
The neighborhood is the entry point for many refugees and immigrants, she said.
The kids can convert homework hours into time on the center’s computers, Noble said.
Diane Hussein, 7, said she likes coming to homework time because she gets to learn new things. Sometimes her class time at Hawthorne is interrupted by fire drills, Hussein said.
Her older sisters Zeineb and Amina Hussein, 9 and 12, come, too.
Zeineb said she likes being around new kids. She said she has met a lot of new friends at the center.
Grandview’s homework group is Everett Housing Authority’s most organized homework group among its centers. The housing authority has a similar group developing at its Pineview Community Center off Everett Mall Way, Noble said.
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