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Public libraries are facilitating free online tutoring for students in California

An online tutoring service is expanding across the State of California. Students are a click away from getting a one-on-one session with a tutor.
Posted at 6:54 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 00:28:56-04

An online tutoring service is expanding across the State of California. Students are now just a click away from getting a one-on-one session with a tutor.

“It’s hard. Math is hard because I’m doing multiplications,” said 5th-grade student Ariyah Kline.

Ariyah and her brother, Orion, are both home-schooled.

“Right now I’m doing Spanish, and honestly, it’s pretty hard, but my mom will help me when I do struggle,” said Orion, who is in 7th grade.

But there are times when that extra help is not available.

“Students can receive help with California math, language, and they also have access to a writing lab where they can submit their writing and get feedback from their tutors,” explained Erica Thatcher, the San Luis Obispo County Library’s Engagement and Marketing Coordinator.

This week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a 24/7, live tutoring service available through all 1,130 public libraries in the state.

“My mom can’t always help us so this program might be able to help us when she can’t,” Orion said.

HelpNow is a service that San Luis Obispo County has already been providing.

“A very robust library with tutorials, practice exams, homework worksheets,” Thatcher added.

This real-time homework assistance program is available through the website of any of the local public libraries across the state.

“The last couple of years have been really rough for families, students and teachers and we’re really excited to provide support to these families,” Thatcher said. “And then, the fact that it is available in English and in Spanish.”

With a couple of clicks, students can get a one-on-one with a tutor from Brain Fuse.

“They are thoroughly vetted, very qualified, and a lot of them are former teachers,” Thatcher said.

It is a free resource available to all regardless of age and especially helpful to working parents, single parents and ESL learners.

“When communities invest in local resources such as public libraries we grow and thrive as a society,” SLO County Superintendent of Schools James Brescia said in a statement. “Many libraries are the center of communities providing activities such as real-time homework assistance.”

Students can even get help with financial aid applications and there are some special features for adult learners.

“GED prep, citizenship prep, job seeking resources and resume help,” Thatcher added.

To access this service, you can visit the California State Library’s website and select your local library. To check it out, click here.

The other option is registering your library card with the SLO County Library System to use some of their extra services. For details, click here.

Along with this tutoring program, the state is investing $254 million in grants to renovate and improve public libraries.