The 2020 school year will look different for all of us, regardless what learning method your family has chosen for your students. Pikes Peak Library District has tools and resources to support you in your education journey this year!
First stop: get your card.
- Either stop by a PPLD facility to sign up, or print out an application ahead of time to bring with you (located here).
- Apply for a card online!
- You must live within the PPLD service area
- You will need proof of your current address and a photo ID
- If you're 15-years-old or younger, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Live homework help and skills building online with expert tutors in math, science, social studies, and English, plus writing and reading assistance.
Study Guides and Practice Tests:
This database provides study guides and timed practice exams for all major college entrance exams and standardized tests, plus college planning, scholarship search, and career exploration tools.
These platforms provide high-quality educational content and are fun to explore! Access is free with a valid library card and pin number. Databases include:
- Academic Search Premier: Contains full text for more than 2,000 journals, including more than 1,550 peer-reviewed titles. This multi-disciplinary database covers virtually every area of academic study.
- Consumer Health Complete:A comprehensive full-text resource for consumer-oriented health content covering all areas of health and wellness from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated medicine.
- CultureGrams: Includes over 200 reports on countries and cultures and state reports outlining the diversity and history of each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Designed for upper elementary-aged children
- Gale Virtual Reference Library: Searches our entire collection of Gale eBooks on a variety of subjects, including history, science, government, and more.
- CustomGuide: Interactive online training for Microsoft Office software. Includes Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Windows and Word. New users will need to create an account.
- LinkedIn Learning: Formerly Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning offers online video tutorials to help you learn software, creative, and business skills.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context: Explore current events and controversial issues by researching multiple sides of a topic. This database aids students in writing argumentative essays and developing analytical thinking skills.
- Science Reference Center: Provides easy access to a multitude of full-text, science-oriented content. Designed to meet every student researcher's needs, Science Reference Center contains full text for 732+ science encyclopedias and reference books, 195 periodicals, 519 science videos and other sources.
Librarian-Approved Info on Tons of Topics!
Your source for research assistance, subject guides, and library resources.
- Tough topics like mental health, substance abuse, and sexuality.
- Areas of personal growth like exploring career pathways, college financial aid, and ACT, SAT, and GRE testing.
- Beginning the transitions into driving and vehicle registration, including CO DMV practice tests.
Ready to expand your horizons by learning a new language? Mango Languages features 70 language options, including 21 options for those learning English as a second language. Explore languages from Irish to Punjabi in the comfort of your own home, or download the app to learn on the go! Students can go at their own pace. The courses have been created by expert linguists and native-speaking instructors to ensure that the content is grammatically and conversationally correct, as well as culturally relevant.
Get ready to get a job or go to college! Work your way through modules focused on professionalism, communication, social skills, and goal setting to prepare yourself for the next big step in your life. Folks below age 15 should focus on the “basic” training while older youth might find the “intermediate” training more appropriate. Complete the training and pass an assessment to earn 10 hours of volunteer credit!
The Homeschool Hub
The PPLD Homeschool Hub has a wealth of resources and tools to support your learning at home efforts. You can also sign up for their newsletter here. Click on “Resources” to find information on getting started; Colorado homeschool law, online courses, concurrent enrollment, and enrichment programs; tutoring; extracurricular activities; support organizations; and more.
Featured Homeschool Resources Whether you are homeschooling full- or part-time, or simply looking for ways to enrich your child’s education, the online resources featured in this issue provide a variety of elucidating and engaging possibilities.
- Learning Heroes This site provides parents with a picture of their child’s learning needs along with tools to bolster their academic, social, and emotional development. A “Readiness Check” with short questions about reading or math for grades K - 8 will show you where your student stands. You’ll also find learning aids by subject and grade level, ways to identify a child’s character strengths and areas for development, an idea-packed “Anti-Racism Resources Directory,” and more. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
- GreatSchools This resource helps with developing “Emotional Smarts,” learning issues, building character, college prep, and more. A “What Your Child Should Have Learned” section outlines key academic and social benchmarks typical for grades K - 8 along with specific subject check-ins aligned with Common Core State Standards. Short “Milestones” videos clarify grade level expectations by demonstrating what success looks like in reading, writing, and math in grades K - 12. Parents can also access learning activities, vocab words, worksheets, and more by grade level. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
- Khan Academy This site provides free standards-aligned video tutorials and interactive exercises in math, science, and the humanities from kindergarten through the early years of college. The self-paced lessons are organized to build knowledge one concept at a time. Create a free account to track a student’s progress, chart subject mastery, and support their learning needs. Use Khan Academy to tackle new coursework, fill in gaps for subjects already learned, homework help, or as a fun activity. It’s accessible in numerous languages!
- Understood Understood is aimed at supporting kids with learning and thinking differences, like dyslexia and ADHD, by offering customized, accessible resources and a compassionate community. The “For Families” section organizes articles and resources into general topics: understanding and navigating learning and thinking differences; school and learning issues; socio-emotional development; community, including blogs and discussion groups; and “Through Your Child’s Eyes,” interactive simulations to help parents better understand their child’s world. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
- Wide Open School This site offers engaging, high-quality online learning experiences for kids pre-K - 12. Parents can access the content by subject, or plan a full school day by grade level. Other sections are dedicated to virtual field trips, art and music, physical activity, emotional well-being, English-language learners, learning differences, and more.
For Fun AND Learning!
This is the place to go for thousands of free digital materials. First, you'll need to create an account using your library card number and pin. Some services in the eLibrary include OverDrive (eBooks, eAudios, eVideos), Hoopla ( eMusic, eVideos, eComics, eBooks, eAudios), AudioBookCloud (eAudios), Freading (eBooks), Freegal (eMusic), Kanopy (eVideos), and more.
You can find plenty of PPLD resources here! Explore:
- Homework (search by subject to find databases, recommended websites, and more),
- Read (access booklists by grade level, genre, online resources, and more),
- Create (hands-on activities and websites),
- or Parents & Educators (curated information source for adults).
Get homework help, book recommendations, virtual programs, research resources, and more!
eBooks for Kids!
This curated database of children’s eBooks offers over 1000 titles for kids in grades K - 6. Included are animated talking picture books, read-along chapter books, National Geographic videos, non-fiction books, literacy puzzles and games, books in Spanish and French, and graphic novels (a fan favorite!). Younger kids will enjoy listening to the stories while perusing the illustrations, while older or more accomplished readers can choose from the collection of read-along books featuring narration, sentence highlighting, and automatic page-turning. Each book is accompanied by a reading level, Lexile level, and grade information, plus an optional quiz. There are no limited check-out times or wait lists, so every item is always available to everyone.