A homework center packed with reference books, school supplies and computers was unveiled Monday afternoon at the Valley Plaza branch library in North Hollywood.
Area officials praised the center, which is equipped with CD-ROMs and other items often unavailable to youngsters, as a boost to local educational efforts. Visitors can use materials such as software programs that help students write research papers, learn math, improve reading skills and prepare for the Scholastic Assessment Test.
"Students will now have tremendous access to computer technologies," said Los Angeles Councilman Joel Wachs, whose district includes North Hollywood. "Children will be taught to use these technologies to solve problems and learn more about the world. For our youth, this translates into greater knowledge and improved job skills."
The homework center is one of three funded by a $175,000 grant from CBS Inc., with the assistance of KNX Newsradio. The other two centers, in the Arroyo Seco regional branch and the Baldwin Hills branch, are slated to open later this year.
"The CBS homework centers will become valuable tools in the pursuit of learning, offering both critical resources and a healthy environment to students," said George Nicholaw, KNX general manager.
Homework centers have proven popular among children, said Peter Persic, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Public Library. Between 100 and 200 children sign up weekly to use computers at other centers, and more use the equipment during slow periods when sign-ups are not required, he said.
Twenty-one homework centers have been created at Los Angeles Public Library branches, using funds raised by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.
The Valley Plaza branch is at 12311 Vanowen St., North Hollywood. More information is available by calling (818) 765-0805.