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NEWS | Jan. 29, 2010

Military families gain access to free, online tutoring

By Elaine Wilson American Forces Press Service

Defense Department officials launched a free, online tutoring service for servicemembers and their families.

The site -- http://www.tutor.com/military -- offers round-the-clock professional tutors who can assist with homework, studying, test preparation, resume writing and more.

Marine Corps and Army families have had access to the program for more than a year. Seeing the value, DOD officials decided to expand the service to encompass all servicemembers and their families, officials said.

"Providing 24/7 academic and career support for military families during a time when so many parents have a deployed spouse has been an important and well-received benefit for Marine Corps and Army families," said Tommy T. Thomas, the 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, Guard and Reserve members on active duty in a deployed status, DOD civilians in a deployed status and their dependents are eligible to participate, officials said. Along with test preparation, the site is open to students of any age, from kindergartners to high school seniors, for one-on-one help in math, science, social studies and English.

Many of these students, officials said, are making the most of the live, one-on-one help.

"Thanks for having this service when our family is separated at this time due to deployments and training," a 6th grader of a Marine commented. "My father is unable to help one-on-one."

"I really appreciate this," a 9th grader, said. "It really helps me understand my schoolwork. It's going to really help me ace my exams coming up. I am definitely going to use this very often."

Tutor.com's network includes more than 1,800 professional tutors and career specialists who have delivered more than 5 million one-on-one tutoring sessions since 2001, officials said. Each tutor is certified through the site, and all sessions are recorded for quality control.