The Prince George's County library is offering Chromebooks with unlimited data that students can borrow. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)
The Prince George's County library is offering Chromebooks with unlimited data that students can borrow. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)

Students and educators in Prince George’s County can receive additional resources outside the classroom during the 2021-22 school year, thanks to the county’s library system.

One major boost will be a $500,000 grant it received to purchase nearly 900 Chromebooks with unlimited data students can borrow free of charge.

The Chromebooks are currently at these locations: Baden in Brandywine; Bladensburg; Fairmount Heights; Glenarden; Largo-Kettering; New Carrollton; Oxon Hill; and Spauldings in District Heights. They will be available at the remaining branches in the fall.

Nicholas A. Brown, the library system’s chief operation officer for communication and outreach, said the county has about 116,000 residents without broadband internet access.

“The library is here to supplement the primary education PGCPS students receive. We try to make the learning fun and engaging,” he said.

Ann Jennifer, an associate at Spaulding Library in District Heights, is ready to help students with the resources offered by the library. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)

A new online feature from the library called “Brainfuse HelpNow” allows students in kindergarten through 12th grade to register for free tutoring in both English and Spanish. Patrons will have access to 3,000 tutors nationwide, Brown said.

On the Brainfuse page under the “Expert Help” tab, a person can click live tutoring which provides a choice to select a grade and a subject. Under eighth grade, certain subjects listed include English-language arts, algebra and pre-algebra for math and social studies.

If a parent or guardian doesn’t have a library card, then access can be obtained using a student’s ID assigned by his or her school.

Brown said 55,000 tutoring sessions have been offered since the pandemic affected the county last year.

Educators, no matter where they live, can receive online access to books, high school testing materials and even invite a librarian to talk with their class about the library’s assets. A frequently asked questions tab can be found at www.pgcmls.info/2120.

Although the highly contagious delta variant continues to increase confirmed coronavirus cases in the county, each of the nearly two dozen branches are open with limited hours.

Parents seeking a head start on their child’s education can register for the “Books from Birth” program at www.pgcmls.info/freebooks, which allows children to receive a free book in the mail every month until the child’s fifth birthday.

For more information on the library system, go to www.pgcmls.info, or call 240-455-5451.

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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