Tennessee's free homework hotline is open for another school year, and that's welcome news to students and parents who forgot how to do those tough math problems.
The program uses retired and current teachers to provide after-school call-in tutoring to students across the state. It’s the only one of it’s kind in Tennessee, and only one of ten nationally.
The free program also has an online whiteboard feature that allows students and teachers to solve problems in real-time.
With Nashville's growing diversity Executive Director Rebekah Vance said the program is a great tool for students whose first language is not English. It also has multilingual teachers who speak Spanish, Arabic, Kurdish, Hindi, Swahili, and Somali.
"So it’s not uncommon for us to get calls in Spanish or Arabic and we can help the students or those parents too," Vance said.
Vance said 80 percent of the calls tutors answer are about math. Last school year, the program held 9,712 tutoring sessions. 94% of students expressed understanding their concept.
Dee Dee Witts has taught Metro students for 38 years and says she finds joy from also tutoring students.
"My favorite word is 'oh' because that means the light bulb came on and so we get a lot of 'ooohs I remember that, my teacher showed me that in class,'" Witts said.
She said sometimes receiving calls from the same student allows the tutor and child to form a trusted relationship.
"Her mom asked can we meet you. They lived a pretty good ways away and she would say 'we will drive halfway, can we meet you?' and she was so thankful for the help that her daughter got," Witts said.
The program runs Monday through Thursday, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. They are in need of math and foreign language tutors.