GREENFIELD — A new study space has opened to help fifth- through eighth-grade students learn math, technology and arts and crafts skills at the Patriot Park Community Center in Greenfield.
The Study Space Program is open three days per week at the center. The service is completely free for youth, with tutors from AmeriCorps as well as high school volunteers and Recreation Coordinator Jesus Perez supervising the entire program.
“This is our sixth day of the program,” Perez said. “This is an idea that I’ve had since last year. I noticed that a lot of kids, who would come to my program during the summer, enjoyed being in my class-like room and I thought maybe we could do something during the year.”
Bianca Carrillo, high school volunteer, stumbled into the study space thinking it was a cooking class. She spoke to Perez and was asked if she was interested in helping students with their homework.
“I like being around kids, so I said ‘yes, I’ll do it’,” Carrillo said. “It’s my second day here. On my first day, I was helping a kid with his math homework and I liked it.”
By helping out in the program, Carrillo is earning community service while giving back to local youth.
Students between fifth and eighth grades have the opportunity to bring in homework they are having difficulty with and get extra help. The computers in the study space were donated by Gabe Trujillo, in partnership with Sift Science, and can be used by students.
Tuesday to Thursday, the space is open to students in the community from 3:30 to 5:45 p.m. Currently students come into the Study Space Program about two at a time.
“Initially, we wanted to target our older kids simply because I read that those were the ones that needed the most help,” Perez said.
Although part of the program involves providing help with math, technology, arts and crafts and reading, Perez also wanted the space to have fun sprinkled in.
The Study Space Program first opened March 26.