by Monica Mendoza and Rob Bussard
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Children lined up Aug. 3 at the R.P. Lee Youth Center to get their back-to-school swag, school information and news about a new online tutoring program that could help them in the coming school year.
The “Back to School Bash” was hosted by the 21st Force Support Squadron and provided school-age children with “tool boxes” filled with pens, pencils, scissors, crayons, notebooks and folders. The 21st FSS worked with representatives from local supporting school districts to provide the free school supplies to military families.
Members of the 21st Security Forces Squadron and a military working dog were at the bash along with McGruff the Crime Dog to give safety tips. Children also learned school bus safety tips from “Buster the School Bus,” a talking, yellow bus who entertained some of the younger children.
Children who live on Peterson Air Force Base are zoned for schools in the Colorado Springs School District No. 11. The first day of school for the district was Aug. 18.
This school year, Air Force families will have access to a free, online tutoring service. The site, www.tutor.com/military, offers round-the-clock professional tutors who can assist with homework, studying and test preparation.
Marine Corps and Army families have had access to the program for more than a year. Seeing the value, Defense Department officials decided to expand the service to include all servicemembers and their families, officials said.
Peterson Airmen and their families can sign up at the Peterson Library for a military account and password, said Lisa Ballard, 21st Space Wing school liaison officer.
“This is a comprehensive, user-friendly tutoring program that is totally free to our military families,” she said. “The tutors are qualified professionals who can assist our military children with their educational needs – I highly recommend families make use of this resource.”
The goal of the site is to provide 24/7 academic and career support for military families during a time when so many parents have a deployed spouse, said Tommy Thomas, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy.
“We are pleased to expand this program to all U.S. military families and provide peace of mind that their children are never alone when it comes to learning – there is always a certified, professional tutor available to help,” he said.
Active-duty servicemembers, National Guard and Reserve personnel on active duty in a deployed status, Defense Department civilians in a deployed status and their dependents are eligible to participate. The site is open to students from kindergarten to high school for one-on-one help in math, science, social studies and English.
Find out more about Colorado Springs School District 11 at www.d11.org
Peterson parents with school related questions can call Lisa Ballard, school liaison officer, at 556-6141.
For more information about the free, online tutoring program, visit www.tutor.com/military