Jamaica students give a HOOT!

This is the second in a series of articles about student clubs and activities that are eligible for tax credit money. Jamaica Elementary School’s HOOT (Homework Opportunity or Tutoring) Club gives Jamaica students a chance to stay after school and do their homework under the supervision of a certified teacher.

Jamaica teacher Andrea Priolette helps students after school.
Jamaica 5th grade teacher Andrea Priolette works with 5th graders in an after school HOOT session.

HOOT meets every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after school from 2:45 to 3:45. Participating students are actually spread out in eleven different classrooms. Each classroom contains students in the same grade so they are working on similar material, and all the HOOT classrooms have a teacher in charge to keep the students on task and offer help as needed. Most HOOT classrooms have a teacher who teaches that grade (maybe even the same teacher students have during the school day).

Jamaica 5th grade teacher Nicole Still is coordinator of Jamaica Elementary School’s after school HOOT Club. She makes sure students get to their assigned classroom after school and sees that it all runs smoothly. HOOT Club membership is limited in order to maintain a 1 teacher per 15 students ratio. Students are recommended for membership by their Jamaica classroom teacher. If there are still available openings after teacher recommended students sign up, a parent can ask that their child be allowed to join.

Lake Havasu High School student and Peer-To-Peer tutor Jessie helps a student.
Lake Havasu High School student and Peer-To-Peer tutor Jessie helps a student.

It was something of a surprise to see a Lake Havasu High School student working in one of the HOOT classroom. Turns out that Havasu for Youth’s Peer-to-Peer tutoring program provides 4 student tutors (who each work under the supervision of a Jamaica teacher) to the HOOT program. High school senior and tutor Jessie said she is interested in linguistics and enjoys helping the students with their language arts work.

HOOT classrooms include 3 classrooms for English as a Second Language (ESL) students. Each of the three HOOT teachers overseeing an ESL classroom has some Spanish language skill. Jamaica has had homework and tutoring clubs for three years, but this is the first year they have been merged into one program.

Students in Ms. Priolette's 5th grade HOOT classroom gave several reasons for being in the program

  • Helps with homework.
  • We can get our homework done before we go home.
  • You can get help when you have to write a paper.
  • Helps you get good grades.

Jamaica's principal, Paula Levensailor, is very happy with the HOOT program and calls it a huge success. She says, "I have found that those who use HOOT to complete homework properly are receiving good grades and parents are happy because they are no longer frustrated at home trying to help their child."

All Lake Havasu Unified elementary schools have homework clubs, although they may operate differently than the one at Jamaica. Havasupai and Nautilus both have tutoring programs. They are all eligible for tax credit money.

Jamaica teacher Mary Von Arx works with HOOT students.
Jamaica teacher Mary Von Arx helps students in her HOOT classroom.