Dziayah Brown is an eighth grader at Palmerton Area Junior High School. She felt like she needed a little extra help with her science homework. She went to the Palmerton Area Library where she got her very own private Tudor ... free of charge.

Kyle Kelshaw, a fifth grader at S.S. Palmer Elementary School, has been getting some extra help with his reading at the library ... free of charge.

Students in grades K-12th can come to the library every Wednesday from 3:15-4:15 p.m. and receive free help with their homework in any subject.

Mariann Kmetz, the library's assistant director, says that the program currently has 21 students signed up.

"We're trying to make the library some place to come to do their homework, work on a project and a place they can come to for advice. We have a core group of volunteer Homework Helpers. Some are 11th and 12th grade students, adults and retired teachers," says Kmetz.

One such volunteer, Lisa Koller of Palmerton is a 7th and 8th grade Learning Support teacher at Palmerton Area Junior High.

"I think it's a wonderful program. Mariann has done a great job of getting volunteers. A lot of kids need that little bit of extra support and parents are so busy today. Math seems to give parents the most problems because they weren't taught it the same way and it's confusing. We get a chance to chat with the parents when they come to pick the kids up. It's nice to see the kids on a one-on-one or one-on-two basis. It makes it more personal. It's very low pressure and gives the kids a chance to shine. Like most kids, they accept help more readily from someone other than their parents. I'd like to see more people volunteer because I could easily see the need for three days a week and the library is the perfect place to do this," says Koller.

Kathy Ahner of Palmerton is also a volunteer Homework Helper and enjoys helping the children with whatever they're having difficulty with.

Marian Hoffner of Palmerton says the reason she volunteers is because "I like kids. I was a 7th grade language arts teacher for 34 years and I miss the kids."

Gail Nonnemaker of Palmerton was a substitute teacher and likes working with kids.

Marlene Bollinger of Palmerton says being a Homeworker Helper is a nice thing to do. "I enjoy kids and I think this is a worthy program."

If you would like to become a Homework Helper or you are a student who would like a little extra help with homework, please call Mariann Kmetz at 610-826-3424 or email plapalm@ptd.net or stop in at 402 Delaware Ave. to fill out a form.

"We're trying to encourage kids to do well in school and to read. We want to be a source for parents to send their kids for this encouragement," says Kmetz.