Lifelong Learning Center seeks tutors to help others learn

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Mike Bauer

When I was in the 10th grade, my grades were slipping. I had trouble following teachers. I didn’t understand math and the teacher went too fast, so when I didn’t understand a part of the homework, I fell behind. In English and social studies, it was the same. I read slowly, so reading a chapter was a painstaking effort which would go unfinished in many cases. In most cases, I struggled to make a C average.

During the summer between my sophomore and junior year in high school, my parents sent me to a tutor twice a week. They showed me how to study. I gained the confidence I needed to succeed. Slowly, my grades got better, but more importantly, I began to think of what I could do for my future. Without that experience, I think my life would have turned out very differently, and without the fulfillment of many of the goals I achieved.

I have a great job as coordinator of the Library’s Lifelong Learning Center; I see successes every day. I see students and their parents come into the library seeking help, and I know they are at the same turning point in their education I was many years ago. I see adults who, for whatever reason, have been left behind by their education and want to improve their reading and writing. I see new and future citizens who have adopted English as their second language look to improve their proficiency.

I see volunteer tutors bring their expertise to help these students. In many cases, they’ve received the same help when they were younger and feel it contributed to their success in life, and now they want to give back. I see their relationships with their students turn into friendships and the initial quiet exchanges turn into laughter. In some cases, I see students become tutors themselves.

The Lifelong Learning Center has a great opportunity to help the many students that have applied this fall, but we need more tutors to accomplish that goal. Tutors don’t need to be retired school teachers or math geniuses with lots of time on their hands. They just need to carve out one or two hours from their busy schedule each week to give back to their community. We’ll provide excellent training, private tutoring rooms and administrative support.

We currently have openings for science, and adult, elementary, middle, and high school math tutors. If you are in a position to share your time and talents to make a difference to a struggling student – at a mere, two hours per week, please contact Mike Bauer at 265-2665 to schedule an interview. You may find that, in your quest to give something back to the community, you are the one to receive the reward.

The following classes and events take place at the East Bonner County Library District Sandpoint Branch, 1407 Cedar St. unless otherwise indicated.

East Bonner County Library District schedule

• Fridays — Explore virtual reality (reserve sessions), 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; reserve a 15-minute session in the VR room at on the event listing. Information: Contact the Tech Desk 208-263-6930, ext.1251.

• Fridays — Teen Role Playing Games, 3-5 p.m., Room 102. Teens play Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, and other RPGs. Information, 208-263-6930, ext. 1245; or

• Fridays — M.A.C. (Manga/Anime Club) for Teens, 3-5 p.m., Room 102. Celebrate fandom at The Library. Read, write, and watch your favorite manga and anime with other enthusiasts. Information, 208-263-6930, ext. 1245; or

• Saturday, Nov. 2 — Sandpoint Friends of the Library Book Sale, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas cook books, crafts and home décor. There will be sets of books including westerns, classics, Better Homes and Gardens cook books and a large collection of children’s DVDs. All CDs are 10 cents.

• Saturday, Nov. 9, 16, 23, and 30 ­— Visual Communication Skills and American Sign Language. 10:30 a.m. in the VR Room. Open your eyes for a hands on workout in communication skills. Welcome anyone struggling with hearing loss or anyone interested in learning about American Sign Language and the visual culture of the deaf community. Open to new students until third class. Registration or permission for course required after October 19. Information: Susan Schaller,

• Saturdays — Explore virtual reality (reserve sessions), 2-4 p.m.; reserve a 15-minute session in the VR room at on the event listing. Information: Contact the Tech Desk 208-263-6930, ext.1251.

• Monday, Nov. 4 ­— Winter Reading Challenge soft launch. Register at for the first of three winter reading challenges. Our first one is a Holiday Challenge, from Nov. 4 through Dec. 13. Read and complete holiday-related activities to earn books and drawing entries. Drawing prizes include robots, knitting looms, and legos. Separate January and February challenges will follow in the new year. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Monday, Nov. 4 ­ Build Your Own Adventure, 10 a.m. to 4:30 Karen’s Room. A special themed open play session during Family Reading Week. This is a drop-in STEM-inspired “What can you build?” challenge. Younger children should have a parent present. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Tuesdays — Mother Goose, 10 a.m. in Karen’s Room. Stories and singing for babies and toddlers 0-3 years old and their caregivers with stay & play until 10:40 a.m. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Tuesdays — Preschool Story Time, 11 a.m., in Karen’s Room. Stories and crafts for kids and their caregivers. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Tuesdays — Explore virtual reality (drop-in sessions), 3-6 p.m., drop-in 15-minute sessions. First come, first served. All ages welcome. Under 18 must accompany parent consent form. Youth under 10 years old must be accompanied by parent/legal guardian. Information: Tech Desk, 208-263-6930, ext.1251.

• Tuesdays in November — NanoWriMo Write-In, 3-7 p.m. in the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation Community Room A. NanoWriMo is a challenge for authors to write 50,000 words during the month of November. The Library is holding weekly Write-Ins for fellow writers to gather and support each other in their NanoWriMo quest. All ages and abilities welcomed. The goal is to write as many words as possible to develop your story - this is not an editing session. This is not a workshop or critique session. Coffee and caloric fuel provided by the Library. Facilitated by the Sandpoint Chapter of the Idaho Writers League. More information: Mike Bauer, 208-265-2665.

• Tuesday, Nov. 5 — Edison Robots & Kamigami Robots, 3:30 p.m. in Karen’s Room. Kids experiment and play with robotics. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Wednesdays — Clark Fork Mother Goose, 10:30 a.m. at the Clark Fork branch library; stories, rhymes, and music for toddlers and their caregivers followed by 20 minutes of play time. Information: 208-266-1321.

• Wednesdays — Clark Fork Storytime, 11:30 a.m., Clark Fork branch library. Stories, music, and crafts geared to ages 3-8. All welcome. Information: 208-266-1321.

• Wednesday, Nov. 6 — Magic Class, 3 p.m. in Karen’s Room. Learn magic tricks! Open to third-sixth graders. Preregistration is required. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Wednesdays — Teen Lounge Passive Pop-Up Programs, 4 p.m. in the Rotary Teen Lounge. Teen-driven art, engineering, robots, and science projects and workshops. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1245; or

• Wednesday, Nov. 6 — Clark Fork 3D Printing Community, 4-5:30 p.m. at the Clark Fork branch library. Drop in to collaborate with others and learn more from staff about 3D printing and design. A few laptops will be provided or you may bring your own device. Open to all ages and skill levels. Information: 208-266-1321.

• Wednesday, Nov. 6 — Magic show, 6 p.m. in Karen’s Room. Fun for everyone. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Thursday, Nov. 7 — Teen Conversation Corner: Defeating Stereotypes - Self-Harm, 4 p.m. in the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation Community Room A. Everybody has a story to tell. By listening and asking questions, we can facilitate a deeper understanding of one another, remove barriers, defeat stereotypes, and build empathy in our community. Lilianna shares her story of hope as she recovered from depression and self-harm.

• Saturday, Nov. 9 — SHS eSports at The Library, 1 p.m., in the Rotary Teen Lounge. Making eSports available to high school gamers by facilitating healthy competition on a varsity level in a comfortable environment is the mission of the HSEL. The Library is partnering with the SHS eSports team to further that mission. Information:

• Saturday, Nov.9 ­— Family Reading Week party, 2-3:30 p.m. in the Community Room. Celebrate family reading with a visit from Wild Thing! Enjoy a scavenger hunt, storytime, free books, open play with blocks and marbles, a building challenge, geography trivia, crafts, snacks, and more! Plus, it’s the official kick-off of the Winter Reading Challenge — sign up to earn prizes. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Now through Sunday, Dec. 1 — Clark Fork Autumn Reading Program — for all ages. Read between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1 and record the name of each book, full magazine, or book on tape with the author’s name. For each completed item, earn a library bidding dollar for use in the Holiday Silent Auction held on Dec. 6 and 7. Information: 208-266-1321.

• Rotary Teen Lounge — Open to seventh-12th graders from any school/homeschool; Tuesdays-Thursdays, 2-6 p.m., and Fridays, 2-5 p.m. Information:, or 208-263-6930, ext. 1245.

• StoryWalk — Pages from a children’s book are posted along a trail for a fun, family experience. Enjoy “Over the River & Through the Woods” by Linda Ashman at Dover City Park and “Time to Sleep” by Denise Fleming at McNearney Park. Read, connect, and get outside at a StoryWalk, a partnership of The Library, Kaniksu Land Trust, city of Dover, and city of Ponderay. For more information, visit

Mike Bauer is coordinator of the East Bonner County Library District’s Lifelong Learning Center for the East Bonner County Library District. He can be reached at 208-265-2665.

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