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Meet Teacher in the Library, Melody Farmer!

Chicago kids have a friend in Melody Farmer! Meet the Teacher in the Library that has spent 17 years doing her part for students in our city.

For the past 17 years, the Teacher in the Library (TIL) program has placed certified teachers in branches across our Chicago Public Library system — where they provide the free, quality, one-one-one homework help that all children deserve.

Meet Melody FarmerTeacher in the Library in action

Melody Farmer is a dedicated CPS teacher — but she has been a Teacher in the Library at the Whitney Young branch for over 17 years. As a classroom educator, she knows the importance of one-on-one sessions, because every student learns differently and one method doesn’t work for everyone. Farmer’s toolbox includes a variety of tactics to help kids with literacy, math, science, social studies, and just about any other challenge they toss her way.

On her participation with Teacher in the Library

Students hard at work with their homework

“It’s a relationship,” Farmer explains. “The kids look for me. The parents text me.  Where are you. When are you coming in?”
It’s a familial tone you’d understand once you’ve heard the different ways she’s been able to help students and their families take steps towards academic success. “I’ve seen kids go off to college; kids graduate college; go from Ds and Fs to As and Bs,” she explains. Milestones that have been made by giving students the one-on-one attention they need with test-prep, developing skills and strategies to meet school standards, and being a consistent resource they can rely on.

What’s next?

Having been with the program for 17 years, we had to ask. How has has the program changed since it first started? “It’s getting bigger,” Famer started. “It’s getting better.” With a closing comment that made it seem like Teacher in the Library might still be too much of a well-kept secret. “I’ve been offered money!” Farmer laughs. “Because people don’t know this is free.”
Teacher in the Library has enabled educators (like Farmer) to provide over 90,000 hours of homework help to students in need of crucial one-on-one attention — in the 2015-2016 school year alone!
Chicago Public Library Foundation would like to thank those donors for making Teacher in the Library a permanent fixture and continued resource for students of Chicago.  Donors include The James and Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bears Care, the Donnelley Family, Sue and Thomas F. Pick, The A. Montgomery Ward Foundation, The Barker Welfare Foundation, Jacqueline Griesdorn & Kevin Matzke, Leslie S. Hindman Auctioneers, Spark Cremin & Paul Dykstra, Sidney Epstein & Sondra Berman Epstein, the Hoellen Family Foundation, the Sulzer Family Foundation, and Dia and Edward Weil.
To learn more about how you can empower after school Homework Help, we invite you to donate here. To learn more about the Teacher In The Library program, click here.