A new school year is just around the corner, which means kids will be learning material they may have never encountered before. If your child is struggling to wrap their head around a new subject or if you just want to make sure they have extra support to keep performing at grade level (or get ahead), look into free tutoring. Here are some options to consider for your child this school year.
The library is more than just a quiet study space. Here, students can also receive homework help. In Enrichment Zones, students can receive individualized tutoring on homework assignments as well as Common Core reading and math skills. Kids can also use educational computer programs for those subjects and even take part in engaging activities for science, math and writing enrichment. The Enrichment Zones program is open to kids in grades first through eighth. Students come two to four days per week on Mondays through Thursdays for three hours each day.
NYPL also offers the Literacy Leaders program, which helps build literacy for first- and second-grade students. Each child is paired with a trained high school tutor who will help them strengthen literacy skills such as phonics and reading comprehension. The program meets after school on Mondays through Thursdays.
Local Boys & Girls Clubs often have academic assistance offerings as well. The Power Hour: Making Minutes Count program teaches kids ages 6-18 how to be proactive learners through tutoring, homework help and learning activities. Volunteers and youth development professionals are on hand to help students finish their homework in this after-school program.
Boys & Girls Clubs also offer Project Learn, which includes reading and writing activities, tutoring, homework help and more to help children build their cognitive skills. Reach out to your local Boys & Girls Club to see if they offer these programs.
826NYC offers free homework help and writing assistance throughout the school year. Sessions are available on Mondays through Thursdays in Park Slope and Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Due to limited space in the program, an application is required.
Students with special needs can receive tutoring and homework help in Human First’s After-School & Saturday Program. The program also includes health education, field trips, music workshops, behavior management instruction and more. It operates during winter, winter break, spring break and summer. For more information, call 718-345-1119.
New York City Department of Youth & Community Development
Cornerstone Youth Programs offer a variety of services for children grades K-12, including literacy programs and homework help. The programs are available at more than 90 NYCHA community centers in all five boroughs. (To find your nearest location, search “Cornerstone” here.) Enrollment is required and typically takes place in August and September for the current academic year.
COMPASS NYC offers a variety of programming, from academics to recreation, for New York City students in grades K-12. These programs are available five days a week for three hours each day, including on select school holidays. The COMPASS Elementary model offers homework help, nutritional programming, arts and STEM instruction and physical activity. COMPASS programs are located in schools, community centers, recreational facilities and additional places throughout the city. (To find your nearest location, search “COMPASS” here.)
Beacon Youth Programs support students ages 6-17 as they build their academic, civic and life skills. For academic assistance, their programming includes tutoring, homework help and reading clubs. Enrollment is required and is ongoing. For more information on Beacon programs, call 1-800-246-4646.
If you can’t make it to an in-person tutoring session, you can also check out online tutoring. Although its name puts the emphasis on math, Math ABC also offers online practice questions for language arts as well as Common Core skills. It’s free to use and categorizes questions by subject and grade level, ranging from kindergarten to sixth grade.
Khan Academy also offers homework assistance designed to help students improve their skills in the classroom. The online platform features instructional videos that walk kids through solutions to problems in key subject areas such as math and science.
This nonprofit offers free and low-cost, one-on-one online tutoring in math, reading, writing and science for children in grades K-12. Their tutors are high school and college students, as well as young professionals. An application is required.
When looking for tutoring, don’t forget that sometimes help is right under your nose. Ask your child’s school if they offer after-school homework help, and check out your local library branch. Also contact your school district to see if your child is eligible for free tutoring through No Child Left Behind, a federal law that allows for educational assistance for underserved students. Local nonprofits may also have community programs, including drop-in homework help, for kids.