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An Antidote to Crowded Classrooms: Free Tutoring at NV Libraries

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PHOTO: Nevada parents with children who would benefit from tutoring might be able to find it, free of charge, at their local public library. Photo courtesy of Austin Public Library.
PHOTO: Nevada parents with children who would benefit from tutoring might be able to find it, free of charge, at their local public library. Photo courtesy of Austin Public Library.
 By Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV, Contact
April 15, 2015

LAS VEGAS - Classroom overcrowding may prompt some students in Nevada to seek a little extra help to keep up with their studies. Hiring a tutor can be expensive, but the local library may have a no-cost solution.

Valerie Marchalonis, head of the Children's Services Department at Sahara West Library in Las Vegas, said many libraries offer in-person and online tutoring services free of charge.

"They should be able to cover any of the subjects from kindergarten through fifth grade," she said. "So, that would include math, reading, social science, things of that nature. Or you can go on 'brainfuse' - they have everything from kindergarten through college, in various subjects."

Marchalonis said brainfuse.com is an online service that provides live, one-on-one tutoring, free to anyone with a library card. She said math and science seem to be the subjects with which most students need help.

As class sizes in Nevada and around the nation have ballooned following the budget cuts of the Great Recession, Marchalonis said it isn't only students who miss having the one-on-one attention. Teachers also have to use their time differently.

"They're struggling with managing the classroom and they don't get to spend the time that they would, where you might be able to have that with our tutors here - because again, it's one-on-one," she said. "They can get right to the heart of the matter, of the problem that the student is struggling with."

Marchalonis said some libraries in rural Nevada have a greater need than those in urban areas for volunteers to help with tutoring. She said libraries also are good resources to learn about free tutoring services available through other organizations.

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