Programs like this are essential for kids, largely because interest in school gets built around relationships with older youth. There is a backside to this lesson which is that all learning takes place in a supportive context with positive feelings. This is why it is so important to begin reducing our dependence on coercive after-school techniques, i.e. homework. It is one thing to energize a child with an interesting assignment and have that child feel enthused and share that enthusiasm with someone he looks up to and values. It is another to place unending demands on that child and then expect that the parents enforce compliance. One key ingredient to the success of this program is its voluntary nature. One reason why homework is so harmful to some kids is the way in which it is forced on them, and, more significantly, the way in which their parents are forced to shift from their roles of revered authorities, loving adults, and wise leaders to mindless agents demanding compliance for behaviors of which they have no real power to modify or limit. Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D. Author of The Homework Trap. http://www.thehomeworktrap.com/.