Police-Based Homework Help Program Receives $1,000 Grant

A program that pairs Columbus police officers with children at Pence Place Apartments to help kids with homework has received a $1,000 grant from the Women’s Giving Circle of Bartholomew County. The grant will enable the program to meet its expenses and ensure it remains sustainable.

The Homework Help program began in November 2012 after a request from a child during a Columbus Police Department community meeting at Pence Place Apartments. CPD officers, led by Officer Julie Quesenbery, meet with children at the apartment complex for one hour each Monday to help the children with their homework. About five to 12 children usually attend. After spending time with the officers doing their homework, the children are provided a snack at the end of the hour.

Officer Quesenbery and Jill Sharp, Public Housing Manager for the Columbus Housing Authority, applied for the Women’s Giving Circle grant and requested $820 to cover the costs of snacks and supplies for the Homework Help program. The Women’s Giving Circle, which is managed by Heritage Fund – the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, generously granted $1,000.

“Most of the kids have been very consistent in attending, and we have seen noticeable improvements in their work and attitudes towards homework,” Sharp said. “We also believe that positive interaction with police officers at a young age is important for all children.”

Lisa Shafran of the Women’s Giving Circle Grants Committee said the committee was most impressed by the commitment of police officers who donate their time to children in the neighborhood and learned that Columbus Department officers value the positive interaction with the kids. The committee believes the grant has the potential to make a tremendous impact. 

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