Gov. Newsom announces free online tutoring for all Californians and $254 million in grants to improve libraries statewide


The statewide pilot, led by the State Library, provides 24/7 live online tutoring and homework help in every K-12 subject

The grant funding is part of California’s largest investment in public libraries ever

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today that every Californian now has 24/7 access to free online tutoring that offers homework help in every K-12 subject and skill-building resources for adult learners. The governor also announced $254 million in grants to public libraries in 172 cities in 34 counties to renovate and improve facilities across the state. This is the first round of the California State Library’s $439 million Building Forward Library Improvement Grant Program — the largest investment in public library infrastructure in California history.

Real-time homework help is now available 24/7 here and on the websites of all 1,130 local public libraries across the state – click the HelpNow link to reach a one-on-one teacher. Led by the State Library, the pilot program provides support in math, language and other core subjects in K-12 grades in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Tagalog. There is no age limit for using the Service. Adult learners can also access writing aids, citizenship resources, and other tools.

“With historic investments to give California’s youngest people a good start in life, enrich our schools, and expand supports like tutoring, we’re building on our commitment to creating more opportunities for every child in our state to thrive” , said Gov. Newsom. “Public libraries are the heart of communities across the state and our centers of learning, discovery, and often safety. As states across the country ban books, California is providing $254 million in grants for our historic public libraries – an investment to make books more accessible by repairing and modernizing libraries across the state.”

The 234 projects in this first round of funding under the Building Forward Library Improvement Grant Program range from $14,300 to $10 million and include efforts to make libraries safer and more accessible, including their ability to serve as cooling centers for underserved communities. The city of Porterville, whose only library was destroyed in a 2020 fire that killed two firefighters, will receive $7.2 million.

“Libraries are hubs of community activity – they are a safe haven, a haven in the wonders of reading, a place to find a meal when needed, create, vote, enrich children, learn a new skill, etc. so much more” said first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “Strengthening the infrastructure of our libraries – their ability to safely and effectively meet the needs of the community – is an extremely important investment in the community members who depend on them.”

Grants were given priority to the state’s least resourced communities and projects that address long-delayed critical facility living and safety needs, including seismic resilience, replacement of heating and air systems, building security and improved accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act .

“There are many reasons 24 million Californians have a library card. Local libraries are cornerstones of their communities and important parts of the California education system,” said Greg Lucas, California State Librarian. “Strengthening public libraries strengthens California and helps make it easier for all Californians to get the information and support they need to thrive and prosper.”

Live, real-time homework help from tutors familiar with state curriculum and standards is available 24/7 via laptop, tablet, or phone from tutors familiar with state curriculum and standards. The State Library is working with the Pacific Library partnership to make Brainfuse’s “HelpNow” available statewide.

“Not every family can afford a private tutor. Free online tutoring is now available to every Californian through the CA State Library Brainfuse HelpNow program. HelpNow tutors support all pre-school learners to improve their thinking and problem-solving skills. “Tutors work with students on their homework, guiding them to the right solution without giving them an answer,” said Jack Rothstein, Head of Library Services at Brainfuse.

A full list of projects to be funded in this funding round under the Building Forward Library Improvement Grant Program can be found here. Questions about the grants may be directed to

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