PPLD columnist Kayah Swanson mug new 071719.JPG


My utility bill for July was an unpleasant surprise, so I decided to start sleeping with the windows open instead of running the air conditioning.

The most magical thing happened.

I woke up the next morning in a crisp, cool room, overtaken by the feeling that fall is upon us. It completely invigorated me.

I can’t promise these same wonderful results for all of you, especially if you don’t love fall as much as I do. But I really think it’s worth a shot. Plus, it might save you some money.

Fall is an amazing time of year. It feels like while you watch the autumn colors bloom, each plant is thinking about the year it just got through and allowing itself to rest in preparation for spring.

I can’t imagine a better time for folks throughout El Paso County to go back to school. Introspection will be in the air, from the roots of the plants outside our doors to the crisp, fresh air that will find its way through our windows.

That said, heading to school after a summer off can be a real struggle for some students. Not so for me. I was a through-and-through nerd (and proud of it!), so buying school supplies and preparing for my upcoming curriculum was a dream every year. But it’s not that way for everyone, especially after a summer of relaxation that can, unfortunately, drain all you learned during the school year right out of your brain.

I think you know where I’m going with this by now. I have a recommendation to help get you through the struggle: visit your library!

Pikes Peak Library District has tutoring and homework help available both in-person at library locations and online using a library card. Study Buddies is an in-person tutoring program for any subject, designed for kids in grades K — 5. For readers of The Tribune, this is a bit more of a drive because it takes place at East Library on Tuesdays from 6 — 7:30 p.m., but the drive into Colorado Springs might be worth it if you have a homework problem you just can’t crack.

We also have a math-specific homework help program, something I really wish I’d had access to while I was in high school. It’s called AfterMath. This program gives you access to trained volunteers who can help field math questions of any level. You can access this program at Monument Library on Mondays from 3:30 — 7 p.m. Visit ppld.librarymarket.com for details. If you’re a math whiz who would like to volunteer to make this program available at other locations, we’d love to have you. Visit ppld.org/volunteer/aftermath-tutors to learn more.

If yet another weeknight activity is not compatible with your schedule, we hear you. We have live tutors available online who can help you with homework of any subject — all you need is a library card. The program is called Brainfuse HelpNow. Just visit research.ppld.org/homework to get started.

Don’t forget to add a library card to your school supply list!

Kayah Swanson is the public relations specialist at Pikes Peak Library District. She’s a former journalist turned nonprofit communicator. Reach Kayah with any questions at kswanson@ppld.org.

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