Nightly News   |  January 26, 2014

Homework Diner Serves Up Success

A New Mexico elementary school dishes out a weekly tutoring session that’s aimed at satiating a hunger for education and food.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> and helping them to learn can be a daunting task when their families are struggling through life. but in one school in albuquerque, new mexico, they've found an unusual recipe for success. our story tonight from nbc's chelsea clinton .

>> reporter: cynthia green is 68 years old and raising her great granddaughters on her own. but she doesn't do it alone.

>> good morning.

>> good morning.

>> good morning, girls.

>> good morning.

>> reporter: much of her support comes from this elementary school , run by principal peggy candelara.

>> we don't believe in servicing just the child but the whole family. it's not from bell to bell.

>> reporter: for busy parents the schoolyard opens two hours early. there's sing along time for the youngest and dozens of after-school programs teaching both physical and mental moves that reinforce academics back in the classroom.

>> we're going to have a big math test. there's a lot of math homework this week.

>> reporter: what are some of the things you don't like about homework?

>> don't like the hard questions.

>> reporter: you don't like the hard questions?

>> i'm going to ask chelsea to pass out the homework.

>> reporter: the latest edition? the homework diner, weekly tutoring program that's become a family affair .

>> helping her with her homework. everything i showed her how to do, it was all wrong.

>> reporter: cynthia, and other caregivers, come to keep up with their kids.

>> if they feel like they belong here, if they feel comfortable, their children are much more likely to succeed academically.

>> reporter: another ingredient central to the homework diner's popularity? a hot meal. two out of every three students struggle with hungry every day. a grant covers the cost of groceries from a local pantry and culinary students from a nearby community college do the cooking.

>> a lot of parents are busy these days. it's really neat that they get to have help with their homework and get to have a full meal.

>> reporter: since it began last year, the diner has tripled in size and the school's grade point average has jumped to one of the best in the city.

>> we're the hub of the community. we want everybody to feel like they belong here.

>> reporter: a unique recipe for success in an after-school program feeding more than young minds. chelsea clinton , nbc news, albuquerque, new mexico.