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Local library the Go-To Place for Homework Help

Central, Eastside, Carpinteria sites offer learning assistance for kids in grades K-6

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This fall, the Santa Barbara Public Library will be expanding its free education services to children in grades K-6 and their families with the opening of the Homework Help Program at the Eastside and Carpinteria libraries.

The Homework Help Program launched at the Central Library in late 2012 and provides comprehensive learning support for families by matching K-6 students with trained volunteers who provide daily one-on-one learning experiences.

Students can sign up for 20-minute individual sessions with trained tutors, who are a combination of volunteers such as retired teachers, UCSB students, high achieving-high school students, and library staff.

Homework Help is available at the following days and times at each location:
 
Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.

Mondays: 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Tuesdays: 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Wednesdays: 2:30-6:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Eastside Library, 1102 E. Montecito St.

Tuesdays: 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Thursdays 2:30-4:30 p.m.
 
Carpinteria Library (begins Sept. 6), 5141 Carpinteria Ave.

Mondays: 3:30-5 p.m.
Wednesdays: 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Volunteering for the Homework Help Program is a way for teens to earn community-service hours and for adults to support children's learning.

Training for volunteer tutors for the Carpinteria Library will be offered 3:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, at the Carpinteria Library. If interested, contact Molly Wetta, 564-5642 or [email protected]
 
Volunteer training for the Central and Eastside libraries will be 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Central Library. Contact Karla Centeno, 564-5681 or [email protected]
 
In the Santa Barbara area, persistent academic achievement gaps exist between socioeconomically disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers.

Literacy and educational achievement are not only important for a child's current school success, but studies show third-graders who can’t read at grade level are four times less likely to graduate high school than their peers.

Alternately, high school graduates are more likely to pursue further education, be employed, have higher income levels and enjoy better health than those who drop out.

The Santa Barbara Public Library looks to support families and the community in bridging this divide by expanding the popular Homework Help Program to more sites so it can accommodate more children.

"We are excited to expand this evidence-based education program to more children and families in our community," said Jessica Cadiente, library director.

In previous years, an average of 460 students engaged at the Central Library in the Homework Help Program during the school year, and on a typical day the program served 35-40 children and their families.

The Homework Help Program has shown to be a success. Surveys and evaluation speak to improvements in the quality of life of participating families.

Not only have caregivers noted positive changes in their children's reading motivation, behavior and skills, children also have reported feeling more capable: 78 percent of children reported their reading had improved and 68 percent reported reading more frequently.

One parent, commenting in Spanish, said: “Thanks to [the library's] help with reading and math homework, my daughter is reading and doing math at a higher grade level, and she is more enthusiastic about reading."

Information about Santa Barbara Public Library System locations, hours, events and programs is available at SBPLibrary.org. All library programs are free and open to the public.

— Molly Wetta for city of Santa Barbara.

 

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