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Journey House and Longfellow School are located in connecting buildings at 1021 S. 21st St.

Longfellow School, Journey House & Water St. Brewery host homework dinners

Homework dinners are family engagement dinners held by schools to help boost student achievement by helping with homework support, but they offer so much more, too. There's also a good meal, there's family time spent together around the table and broader educational support.

Begun in the Albuquerque, New Mexico school district by teachers responding to a need for family support that they saw, the dinners are beginning to take hold here, too, thanks to a partnership between Journey House, MPS' Longfellow School and Water Street Brewery.

Journey House and Longfellow School are located in connecting buildings at 1021 S. 21st St.

"Journey House and Longfellow Elementary Homework Dinners is a series of family engagement events that allow students and families to receive homework support, participate in engaging learning activities while taking advantage of community resources and educational programs," affirms Cherise Myers, Journey House's director of community partnerships.

"Support is provided by community partners, teachers, volunteers and tutors in addition to receiving a free meal for the whole family. Homework Dinners is open to any family in the school community."

Journey House works to empower families on Milwaukee's near South Side to move out of poverty by offering adult education, youth development, workforce readiness and family engagement, says Myers.

The partnership launched in March and has already held one dinner focused around math and homework help for students and parents that drew 75 families.

Four more dinners are planned for the first year, including one tonight, from 4:45 to 6:45 p.m., focused on attendance and safety. Others are slated for Thursday, Jan. 24, Monday, March 11 and Thursday, April 11.

Water Street Brewery got involved with Journey House during the 2017 holiday season, according to Director of Operations, Matt Schmidt.

"The partnership with Journey House started during the '3 Days of Christmas' put on by The Milwaukee Kitchen Cabinet," he says. "I was impressed with Journey House's mission and how organized they were. I was also impressed with how appreciative, respectful, intelligent and friendly the kids were.

"The program teaches kids that learning is an ongoing process that continues outside the classroom, including skills beyond school like a proper handshake, how to interview for a job and how to dress appropriately for situations. It creates a culture at Journey House that it's cool to be smart and strive for success. The program also makes sure kids know that getting extra help with the learning process doesn't need to have a stigma attached to it."

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