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Library offers homework help to Lincoln students

By: Staff report
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The Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges is now offering tutoring and homework help to students in all grade levels. The library opened its Homework Help Center on Aug. 26. Staffed with adult and teen volunteers, the center provides a place for students to complete homework and to get help with schoolwork. It is open from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to take advantage of this free service. While at the library, students can also explore all of the library’s many resources, including a brand-new interactive tutoring service called Brainfuse and an education-based Web search tool called netTrekker. The library received a grant from the California State Library to purchase Brainfuse. Brainfuse is the nation’s leading provider of one-on-one online tutoring for students in social studies, science, math, reading and writing. The program is available every day of the week from 1-10 p.m. Students can connect to the program from virtually any computer with internet access and all that is required is a free Lincoln Public Library card. Brainfuse’s online homework help has two major components: homework help and skills building. Homework help is designed for students who may be struggling with one or two questions on a specific assignment. By selecting the grade level and subject matter, students will be connected to a skilled tutor in that particular area. The skills-building component provides guidance for students who need a little extra help understanding certain material, reviewing material or moving ahead by introducing new material. Students are able to work at their own pace. In both cases, the online center provides real-time one-on-one tutoring. Tutors, located all over the country, meet the highest of standards. Brainfuse also provides some assistance for Spanish speakers and a 24-hour writing lab, where students can e-mail their work to a tutor. Spanish speakers can read, write and discuss their subjects in their native language. In the writing lab, the tutor will do a thorough analysis with written comments to help improve writing skills. Another homework help tool that is available through the library is netTrekker. netTrekker is a Web search engine that is educationally based and contains hundreds of thousands of standards-aligned resources from the entire Internet. These resources are educator-approved to ensure that they are up-to-date, accurate and safe to use as well as academically relevant and appropriate for specific grade levels. The Web page database is organized by readability and grade level for fast, easy selection of educational content to address every student’s learning needs, including English Language Learners and special needs learners. netTrekker is currently used in more than 21,000 schools nationwide. The library partnered with Western Placer Unified School District and the California Technology Assistance Project – Region 3 through the Sacramento County Office of Education to purchase this product. Library staff is encouraging everyone to try out these new online homework help programs from home or at the library. Feedback is welcomed and encouraged.