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  • What: Homework helpline for students, run by classroom teachers
  • Where: Call 212-777-3380
  • Who: Students in kindergarten through 12th grade
  • Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m. when school is in session
  • Languages spoken: Armenian, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog
  • Subjects available: English, math, science and social studies

Learn more

A brief history

The Dial-A-Teacher program began in January of 1980. It was a pilot program in 17 schools in 8 districts. Five teachers were hired to field these questions with one teacher proficient in Spanish. Students throughout the city quickly began to use the program to get help with homework problems that stumped them. By 1986, the program expanded to include all elementary schools in the city through funding by the NYC City Council. The UFT provided a large space where the newly hired staff of 45 teachers could work. Hundreds of texts and reference materials were bought and Dial-A-Teacher was now a world-class source of help for all the elementary students in the city.

As word spread to students that there was a telephone number that they could call to get free help with homework, the number of calls climbed steadily. Students in middle school and high school who were using the Dial-A-Teacher program since the third grade continued to seek this help. Dial-A-Teacher began hiring experts in advanced math and science to field these calls from older students.

Key staff

The director of the Dial-A-Teacher program is Anthony Harmon. Sean Blanks is the coordinator who assists in the day-to-day administration of the program. The office telephone number is 212-598-9205. You can use this number to arrange for workshops, to order materials, to schedule classroom visits or to get general information about the program. If you need to speak to the director, call 212-510-6338.


Another unique component to Dial-A-Teacher is its parent connection. We will continue to offer parent assistance through workshops on a host of topics, including but not limited to:

PTA Presentation — Gives an overview of Dial-A-Teacher and the services we provide. Resources such as educational websites, expectations of the Common Core Standards and strategies are offered to improve student achievement. Dial-A-Teacher promotional materials are distributed.

Test Taking Tips — Focuses on ways to develop good study habits prior to taking any test. Parents are given an overview of the expectations and concepts including the State Assessment. Parents are offered suggestions of ways they can assist their children to be successful.

Pantry Math — Crafty interactive activities for parents and children to do together in the kitchen to learn elementary and middle school math. Parents are taught how to use items such as cereal, beans, cups, candy, spaghetti, and other items in the pantry so children can learn math skills/concepts through hands on approach.

Homework: It’s A Family Affair — Focuses on how parents can support children to complete homework assignments and how Dial-A-Teacher can assist them in time of need.

Time Management — Concentrates on how parents can support their children to be organized and use time wisely after school to complete assignments. Parents are offered suggestions of schedules and contracts for children.

Reducing Summer Knowledge Loss — Explains why children have summer knowledge loss. Parents are offered fun free activities that they can do with their children during the summer to keep them academically engaged.

The World As Our Classroom — Throughout this workshop parents will understand how easy it is to use every day activities and living experiences as learning opportunities. These activities engage children in the learning process and motivate them to connect with real life and daily living of subjects taught in their classroom.

Parent Teachers Conference — Parents will be offered suggestions on how to discuss their children progress with teachers during these conferences.

Mindfulness — This workshop will be interactive offering suggestions and strategies of how to engage your children in activities dealing with their emotions.