Families

Access to homework help, online tutors free with your county library card

At this time of year, young scholars may be looking for a bit of help with their homework, term papers or projects. Or maybe what's needed is some one-on-one tutoring in a specific subject.

If you have a student at home or are you a student yourself, you can get free, online help with your studies. Whatcom County Library System subscribes to HelpNow, which gives you access to online learning assistance.

Get paired with a tutor in a virtual classroom, complete with an online whiteboard and chat window, and collaborate one-on-one to solve homework problems, edit papers or expand on lessons taught in school.

Use HelpNow on any computer with an internet connection, including those in the library. All you need to access this service is your Whatcom County Library System library card number and PIN.

Included is an adult learning center, which provides access to information to help adults prepare for the GED, receive feedback and edits on résumés and cover letters, learn Microsoft Office skills and prepare for U.S. citizenship.

Whatcom County Library System Teen Services Coordinator Tamar Clarke knows teens will find it useful. "What teen hasn't been stuck at home with a pile of homework and needed some immediate help?" said Clarke. "And the tutors are available from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. every night of the week."

Students of all ages, from elementary grades through college and beyond, can utilize HelpNow services. The online tool includes a comprehensive writing lab that provides analysis and constructive comments on papers you submit, as well as a test center that reflects the new Common Core standards for kids and new 2014 GED tests for adults.

The Writing Lab and the 24/7 Center are available at any time of the day or night for help with English, math, science and more without connecting with a live tutor.

Or work with a live tutor for homework problems, quiz questions or intensive test prep. All live sessions are saved and can be replayed as well as shared with friends and teachers by email.

As a student, you can store and upload your work or writing directly into HelpNow and receive feedback. The materials used for K-12 tutoring are Washington State curriculum-aligned, and tutoring sessions can last as long as the student needs help - there is no time limit.

"This is one more great reason to make sure your child has their library card," said Clarke. "There's even a language lab to help students with their Spanish language learning."

To learn more or to get started, visit Whatcom County Library System online at WCLS.org/homework-help and click on HelpNow or call 360-305-3600.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lizz Roberts is community relations coordinator for the Whatcom County Library System.

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