Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Glued to the Tube Cable TV Helps Students with Homework

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Glued to the Tube Cable TV Helps Students with Homework

Article excerpt

When Valerie Hardy's grandchildren are tuned to cable Channel 13, she doesn't have to tell them to turn off the TV and do their homework.

That's because homework is featured on the station's new evening programming.

A new televised tutoring program that officials hope could become a model for school districts around the nation started recently in East St. Louis. Each weeknight, teachers present lessons and also field phoned-in homework questions, which they answer on the air. Soon, the Channel 13 " homework channel" also will be available on videotape throughout St. Clair County's 27 school districts. Three of Hardy's young grandchildren are regular viewers. Hardy and her grown children also like to watch - especially the programs on business education. "I'm looking forward to great things coming from this program," Hardy said. Hardy makes a game of it with her youngest grandchildren. "I say, `Make like you're in a classroom and show me how you act in school,' " she said. "It's really wonderful to be able to sit at home and learn." The regional superintendent's office likes the programs so much that tapes of the shows are being made for distribution to other cable systems in St. Clair County. Channel 13 is a local-access cable channel broadcast from the GEMM Media Centre in East St. Louis. The channel serves East St. Louis, Centreville and Alorton. Rosella Wamser, assistant regional schools superintendent for St. Clair County, said tapes of the homework channel's programming would be placed in a lending library soon "so teachers across the county could look at those and check them out. I think this has a lot of potential, and we're going to publicize it." Frank Childress is executive director of Channel 13 and the GEMM Centre and the main force behind the television tutoring programs. He said he wanted "to get the community and the home involved in helping our children learn. We put all the pressure on the schools, but the home and community also have responsibility." Childress said young people should get the message: "It's cool to be smart. It's cool to be an egghead." If the teachers on TV look familiar to area students, that's because they come from East St. …

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