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Booker Helps Launch "Homework Help NJ"


State Library partnership with PSE&G means free after school homework help for students in 7 New Jersey communities

The New Jersey State Library, in partnership with PSE&G, and with help from Newark Mayor Cory Booker, today launched a major initiative to offer free homework help to the students, residents and users of seven major public libraries around the state.

Thanks to a new program called “Homework Help NJ,” students in grades 4 to 12 can get free help with their math, science, social studies and English assignments via the Internet. This online tutoring program delivered by allows students with library cards to chat online with tutors that can help them tackle their homework problems. Spanish-speaking tutors are available for help with math and science assignments.

“Homework Help NJ” is designed to provide the highest quality of one-on-one instruction. It is being piloted in Camden, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson and Willingboro - and thanks to a $265,000 grant from PSE&G – it will also be made available to all students enrolled in NJ After 3 afterschool programs. NJ After 3 is a statewide network of nonprofit run, after-school programs, currently serving over 15,000 children in more than 100 schools throughout New Jersey.

“This is a program that provides real value to the community,” said Mayor Booker. “By helping kids do better in school, we boost their confidence and ensure that they stay engaged in academics, instead of the activity on the streets. This is the kind of programming we need more of, and the kind of public-private partnerships that I encourage.”

With “Homework Help NJ,” there’s no scheduling, no appointments and no traveling. Tutors are available online and on demand, 7 days a week from 3 to 8 pm. Whether students need just a few minutes of help or a significant amount of time to better understand a complex concept, certified tutors work with students to help them build their confidence and do well in school.

“Kids deserve equal opportunity to succeed, and this program helps to provide that,” said Ralph LaRossa, President & COO of PSE&G. “We see tremendous potential in this program and are providing substantial funding to bring it into communities that we serve. While that’s a good start, more support is needed. My hope is that our corporate and foundation colleagues will step up and join the effort in Year Two, so that even more students can get the help they need.”

In addition to supporting students, “Homework Help NJ” is a valuable resource for parents, grandparents and caretakers who do not have the time or subject knowledge to help students with their homework on a regular basis.

“The New Jersey State Library, through the NJ Library Network, has long been committed to the education of young people and adults through a variety of programs we have funded and encouraged local public libraries to offer,” noted State Librarian Norma Blake. “The extra assistance available to students in these cities from live Homework Help tutors has the potential to instill a sense of success and accomplishment that will carry forward into the school day. With PSE&G’s generous support, we hope to build “Homework Help NJ” into a program that will expand and extend beyond its initial funding,” Blake said.

Students who live in one of the seven designated towns can connect to a “Homework Help NJ” tutor through their local libraries, or from their home PC or Mac, with their library card number. The program Web site is In addition, students enrolled in NJ After 3 can access “Homework Help NJ” at local program sites. NJ After 3 nonprofit partner sites include Boys & Girls Clubs, faith-based groups, museums, universities, community development corporations, YW/YMCAs, and others. has been delivering its Live Homework Help® service to students in the U.S. through libraries since 2001. More than 2.5 million homework help sessions have been delivered to date--with an average of 4,000 sessions each evening this fall. has made a long-term commitment to working with state libraries and businesses to create successful public/private partnerships that benefit kids,” explained George Cigale, founder and CEO of “We are excited to work with both the New Jersey State Library and PSE&G to ensure that students who need homework assistance in New Jersey have access to instant help to reach their academic goals.”

About New Jersey State Library
The New Jersey State Library has three bureaus: the Library Development Bureau (LDB), the NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped (NJLBH) and the State Library Information Center (SLIC). It leads in the provision, promotion and support of quality library and information services to all people of New Jersey. The State Library, which is affiliated with Thomas Edison State College, coordinates, promotes and funds the New Jersey Library Network, of which we are a proud member. Last year, attendance in New Jersey’s public libraries was well over 46 million with total circulation of almost 54 million.

About PSE&G
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. Each year, the company and its employees invest millions of dollars and thousands of hours to improve the quality of life in New Jersey. The company’s culture dictates that service to customers and community go hand-in-hand.

About creates innovative, on demand homework help and tutoring services that connect students to a professional tutor online the moment they need help in math, science, social studies or English. Our network of over 2,200 professional tutors has delivered over 3 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. services include Direct, an on demand tutoring service for families and Live Homework Help, an after-school program offered at over 1,600 public libraries. also powers two statewide, governor-supported initiatives, HomeworkKansas and HomeworkAlabama. was named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Program for the New York Region in 2007 and 2006, was honored as one of the 25 Best Small Companies for Women 2007 by Working Mother and ranked in the first-ever Inc. 5,000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America. For more information or a free trial of the service please visit or call (800) 411-1970.

About New Jersey After 3, Inc.
New Jersey After 3 (NJA3) is the first state-wide, private, nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding and improving after school opportunities for New Jersey’s kids – giving them the opportunity to participate in high-quality, comprehensive, structured and supervised and enriching after school activities. Currently NJA3 funds a network of programs serving over 15,000 children in over 100 schools throughout the state of New Jersey. For more information, including a complete list of afterschool programs – please visit


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