Dedicated Offerings recognize and financially support worthy organizations engaged in projects that reflect our Unitarian-Universalist principles. Our February 16 offering will be for Homework House.

Designed to strengthen the quality of education for all children in Holyoke, the Homework House provides free, individualized tutoring and mentoring. At the Homework House, children in Holyoke’s most economically challenged neighborhoods can experience learning success in a safe, nurturing environment with strong academic and social support. Children ages 6-12 may attend after-school programs at sites located in the neighborhoods where they live and go to school. These programs focus on homework assistance and developing math and reading skills.

In addition, the Homework House offers Summer Readers & Leaders (SRL), a free five-week long intensive literacy program, which helps prevent summer learning loss in students from Holyoke’s low-resource neighborhoods. Over the five weeks, children work with credentialed reading teachers on literacy activities. They also experience a combination of other fun indoor and outdoor pursuits such as arts and crafts, games, weekly excursions to the library, and other field trips. The summer program includes breakfast, lunch, and a snack, so that children who might otherwise go hungry are nourished and ready to learn.

Beginning in 2006 as a ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Springfield, the Homework House is no longer formally affiliated with them, but the ties between the two communities remain strong. The Homework House continues to carry out their social justice vision in its mission, values, and programming. In 2007 it was incorporated as an “independent, non-sectarian organization that serves all children regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or gender.” For a full description of the Homework House and its many activities and opportunities to serve, please visit their website at