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Empower Children Through Tutoring: Volunteers Wanted

The Santa Barbara Central Library seeks volunteers for the Youth Services’ Homework Help Program to work with children in Kindergarten through 6th grade. This is an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the success of local students. Adults and teens interested in volunteering will need to attend a training on Saturday, October 14th from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the Tech Lab of the Santa Barbara Central Library, located at 40 E. Anapamu St.

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 combination of volunteers such as retired teachers, UCSB students, high achieving high school students, and library staff.

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.

Volunteers are asked to work a minimum of two hours a week assisting children with reading and/or homework. Teen volunteers earn community service hours for their time, must be at least 14 years old, and maintain at least a B grade-point average. Volunteers 18 and older need to complete a background check/livescan and a TB test through Partners in Education.

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 that 3rd 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 through the Homework Help Program.

Empowering families to help their children do better in school not only improves the quality of life of individual families, but of the community as a whole. We all benefit from engaged, informed youth who are well-prepared for active citizenship in our local communities and across the nation. Be a part of this and volunteer for the Homework Help program at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

To sign up for the training please call (805) 962-7653 or email Karla Centeno at

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

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