Founded in 2011, Homework Zone (HZ) is an after-school mentoring program connecting McGill University student volunteers with elementary and secondary school students in schools around Montréal, and in Kahnawa:ke (traditional territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka First Nation).
How HZ Works
At HZ, we create an oasis for students where they can challenge themselves and nurture positive relationships within the school environment. The first half of each 90-minute HZ session is dedicated to academic support (ie; homework completion, problem solving, reading), with the second portion focused on imagination-based and academic enrichment activities or workshops offered by McGill students or community groups that focus on creativity, expression and building relationships.
Apply to be a Mentor
Deadline January 20th for Winter 2020.
Find a day/time that works best for you (times include travel to and from schools):
Tuesdays 2:00 - 5:00 pm (Verdun Elementary)
Wednesdays 2:00-5:00pm (Riverview Elementary)
Wednesdays 2:30 - 5:30 pm (Karonhianónhnha Tsi Elementary School, Kahnawa:ke)
Thursdays 2:30-5:30 pm (Lasalle Senior Elementary)
Tuesdays: 2:30 - 5:45 (Kahnawake Survival School)
Wednesdays: 1:30 - 4:30 (H.S. Billings High school)
The time commitment is approx 3 hours per week (including travel) for a duration of 10 weeks over one semester. Of course, you are welcome to come back the next semester!
RETURNING HZ VOLUNTEERS: Click HERE to apply
NEW HZ VOLUNTEERS: Click HERE to apply.
New volunteers must attend the HZ Mentor Orientation (Saturday, January 25th 12-3:30pm @ New Residence Hall: 3625 av du Parc); lunch included.
Benefits and Recognition:
- Letter of attestation from the Dean of Students for volunteers who complete at least 30 hours (includes orientation and travel time).
- Volunteer hours can be applied to your McGill Co-curricular record
- Free bus/metro tickets are available on demand
- Contribute to an innovative academic and socio-emotional enrichment program for children who need the extra support
- Students are trained and supported in their work as mentors and tutors by Branches and professionals from the education field
- Gain skills in communication, leadership, mentorship, teaching and time management
- Work with other McGill students and explore the Montreal community beyond McGill!
Community Workshops and Activities
Homework Zone invites McGill students, student clubs and Montréal community members to share their passion and skills by facilitating a 40-minute Community Activity at one or all of our six participating HZ schools around Montréal. Available dates are during the last two weeks of October, November, February and March. Start times are either 3 or 4pm, depending on the school.
For McGill students, these activities provide your club or service with a great chance to engage with the Montréal community and consider new applications for your skills and interests. Past workshops: Caligraffiti, yoga, drama therapy, map making, astrophysics, poetry, music appreciation, activity that explored global food trade.
If you are interested in facilitating a workshop with Homework Zone:
Read the HZ Community Activity Guide for Facilitators
Click the link to tell us your availabilities for the Autumn and Winter semesters
Fill out the Activity Proposal Form
Email form and any questions to assistant.branches [at] mcgill.ca (Hasan Bilgen) or call 954-701-9344
To celebrate all that he’s done for Homework Zone and his mentees, we sat down with Koby to reflect on his experiences at HZ.
Originally from Arizona, USA, Koby Song Nichols became a student at McGill University in Fall 2013. At McGill, he was in the Arts and Science program, majoring in Organismal Biology and East Asian Studies.
Koby first heard about Homework Zone in 2015 through an e-mail sent out by the SEDE office. Since then, Koby has volunteered for five semesters, for a total of 150 hours! He volunteered at two schools: Orchard Elementary and Riverview Elementary, and has had 3 mentees over the years.
This past year, Koby took on a leadership role while volunteering. He took over for the Volunteer Coordinator whenever needed, supported his fellow McGill mentors, and was a constant guide to all those who needed him. Koby was there to welcome new mentors at the Orientation, to build camaraderie with his fellow mentors at the reflection events and farewell get-togethers, and to constantly support his mentees.
When asked what kept him coming back to Homework Zone, Koby responded: “The kids. It was being able see my mentees grow throughout each semester. To be able to see their confidence grow so that they started to problem solve on their own. Seeing their growth and confidence helped me tackle my own studies at McGill. They remind me that success requires a lot of hard work.”
Koby explains that his defining moment at HZ was when his first mentee, Lucas, visited McGill campus for myDay@McGill. “I asked him what the highlight of his day was. He said that his favourite moment was getting to see me again.”
In his last three semesters at HZ, Koby worked with a mentee named Tristan.
"Every Tuesday for three semesters I had the honor to spend a few hours with Tristan, a fourth grader and one of the best mentees I could have asked for. Although Homework Zone was supposed to be a time to help him with his homework, it became a space where Tristan and I could not only work together to solve problems, but also where I could see him grow more and more confidence and we could both encourage each other to keep growing.
From seeing his eyes light up as I walked into the room to him telling me that I am a great ‘drawer’ (even though my drawing skills aren’t that great), working with Tristan was a clear affirmation of how having someone who believes in you and encourages you can have incredible impacts on how you tackle life’s challenges.”
Now, Koby is tackling his next challenge: a Master’s at the University of Toronto, studying diasporic Chinese history. We at HZ sincerely wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors, Koby!
For More Information
Contact: hz.branches [at] mcgill.ca (Homework Zone Program Coordinators)
Homework Zone in the press:
Go here to volunteer as a mentor
Go here to offer an activity or workshop at HZ
Thank you to our valued partners!
- T.R. Meighen Family Foundation
- Réseau Pour Ma Réussite
- Native Montreal
- Kahnawa:ke Education Centre
- McGill Student Housing and Hospitality Services
- McGill Enrolment Services
- Lester B. Pearson School Board
- English Montreal School Board
- New Frontiers School Board
- Frontier College
- The schools, teachers, principals, families, students and mentors we get to work with every year!