Judy Good worked for 20 years as an elementary school teacher for .
Now retired, Good, who founded the Homework Help program at the 360 Communities Rosemount Family Resource Center, continues to give back to the Rosemount community.
“She’s an amazing, amazing volunteer,” said Shira Rabinowicz, neighborhood services volunteer coordinator for 360 Communities.
Homework Help began in 2004, when Good decided she wanted to volunteer at the resource center. Originally, she conducted client intake meetings, but she was concerned that the center didn’t offer any programs for children.
“We really noticed a need for more support for the youth in the community,” said Rabinowicz.
Good took the lead. She recruited her neighbors and fellow church members as volunteers and created Homework Help. The program takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. With the assistance of four volunteers, Good helps a group of approximately 15 students strengthen their reading and math skills. The program’s participants range from kindergarteners to fifth graders and attend Rosemount Elementary School.
“Anytime you do anything for children, you’re benefiting the entire community,” said Good.
The students involved with Homework Help are primarily financially disadvantaged children living in subsidized housing. Many are first or second generation immigrants for whom English is a second language.
Fortunately, Good developed a literacy program that goes hand-in-hand with Homework Help. As Homework Help has grown, Rosemount Elementary has become involved with the resource center as well. The school now supplies materials for the program and teachers have begun to communicate with Good about the students and their learning needs.
Good also organizes an annual school supply drive. Every August for the past five years, the resource center has collected school supplies, put them in backpacks and distributed them to local children in need.
“It’s a huge undertaking,” said Good.
In 2011, the center distributed over 220 backpacks to students ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade. Major donors include the Neighborhood of Evermore, the , the Apple Valley Police Department, the Rosemount VFW and the .
Homework Help and its accompanying programs continue to enhance and strengthen Rosemount’s learning community. Rabinowicz stated that creating an environment where the students are mentored and encouraged has made them excited about schoolwork.
“It’s really impacted their mentality,” said Rabinowicz. “It’s so much more than homework help.”