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Cochrane rotary clubs join forces to support tutoring program –

An online resource at Cochrane Public Library is providing valuable tutoring for students of all grades, and has provided indispensable assistance to people looking for a new job.

And it will continue to do so into the future, thanks to the help of the Rotary Club of Cochrane and Rocky Mountain Rotary, who have joined forces to support BrainFuse, handing over a cheque at a ceremony at the library on Jan. 26.

There’s also English language training, and even a session on how to improve your chess game.

There are two main components: HelpNow and JobNow, both of which provide access to live tutors, coaches and other experts from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

HelpNow allows students from kindergarten to Grade 12 to log into to the system, enter their grade and subject area, and instantly access a tutor. Support for adult learners is also available, whether they’re going back to school, switching jobs, or brushing up on certain skills.

JobNow is designed to support every step of the job search process, featuring live online coaches who assist in resume/cover letter preparation and help patrons prepare for job interviews. Supplemental content includes things like resume templates, career assessment exams, and much more.

Bev Wiebe, a programmer at the Cochrane Public Library, saw how BrainFuse can help clients up close when she worked with a recent university graduate not long ago at the library.

The 20-something man had never interviewed for a job before and was uncertain about the process.

“He used the interview section and it really helped him because he didn’t have a lot of confidence, so it helped him prepare,” she said.

“He felt more comfortable going into interviews.”

She wasn’t aware if he’d since landed a job, but as the library hasn’t heard back from him, figures that might be a good sign.

Job hunters can access a live interview coach, sample interview questions, job hunting resources, and even life skills coaching. They can even get advice on how to dress for an interview.

Career assessments and job matching advice can help job hunters confirm that they’re looking for the right kind of job – one that’s going to make them happy in the long term.

Wiebe said the program is a good resource for a variety of people, and wanted to emphasize how grateful the library is to both of the local rotary clubs for their support for BrainFuse.

Ryan Baum, president of Rocky Mountain Rotary, said when the library approached them, it wasn’t a difficult decision for the club.

“One of the main reasons our Rocky Mountain Rotary club was established, was the passion for our community by our members,” he said.

“So when the Cochrane Public library – who does so much for our community – asked both the rotary clubs in Cochrane for support to keep this program going, it was an easy ‘Yes.’”

Community services director of the Rotary Club of Cochrane Melissa Engdahl echoed Baum’s comment about how easy the decision was to help fund the program.

“Education is one of the priorities of Rotary International, so it was a no-brainer to support BrainFuse,” she said.

She said her 15-year-old son would likely be a user of the program in the near future.

About the Author: Howard May

Howard was a journalist with the Calgary Herald and with the Abbotsford Times in BC, where he won a BC/Yukon Community Newspaper Association award for best outdoor writing.