Introducing the iFoster and Learn To Be Partnership for Free Online Tutoring

iFoster > Foster Youth Success > Introducing the iFoster and Learn To Be Partnership for Free Online Tutoring

Update: January 7, 2021

In just a few short months since we launched this partnership, iFoster members from multiple states have benefitted from almost 3000 minutes of free tutoring with Learn To Be. Although most youth have requested tutoring in math, students are receiving support in reading, writing and science. Tutors have been able to help students of all academic levels – from ESL support to AP English. The majority of the youth referred so far have been matched with a Learn To Be tutor in less than 24 hours.

Multiple caregivers have reported to iFoster that the tutoring is going great. Most importantly they have expressed that their students have been engaged and really like their tutors.


Original Announcement: November 25, 2020

The digital divide has grown larger for underserved youth as schools transitioned to online learning in early 2020. The K-12 school experience has taken on a different form and presented new challenges for all students — increased responsibility and independence, decreased social interaction and decreased access to support resources. These challenges are exacerbated for underserved youth.

iFoster has partnered with Learn To Be — a national nonprofit that provides one on one virtual tutoring in any subject for students in K-12th grade. Learn To Be has been providing tutoring to “underserved” youth since 2012. They work with vetted tutors to provide quality tutoring to ensure that students don’t fall behind academically and have access to the tutoring they need to fulfill their academic potential.


How does the Learn To Be program work?

Tutoring services are provided through the Learn To Be online platform. Students will need access to internet service and either a laptop, PC or Chromebook. Tutoring cannot be conducted through a tablet or phone at this time.


How can foster youth access Learn To Be?

A caregiver, social worker or someone familiar with the child and their academic needs must fill out the enrollment form. This person will supply their email address and they will be the point of contact for the tutor

The Learn To Be program will prioritize referrals made by and on behalf of iFoster members. Enrollment forms can be accessed by logging in to the iFoster portal. If you’re not yet an iFoster member, sign up here for free.

To be prepared, the application for Learn To Be will ask:

  1. a) Student Info: name, DOB, student’s email, grade level
  2. b) Guardian Info: Name, guardian’s email, phone number, address
  3. c) Description of Child and Tutoring Needs: Please do not share any sensitive or confidential info. Share things that would be important for a tutor to know about the child and the specific academic needs.
  4. d) Payment: It does ask if you can pay anything for tutoring. You should select “I am unable to pay” because they are providing this free to any iFoster members.

After you complete the application, it will be reviewed, and a tutor will email the point of contact on the enrollment form within a week to schedule a time to meet.

Before the first meeting with the tutor, the youth/caregiver should log in to the tutoring platform. During the first meeting with the tutor, an adult should be present with the student to log on to the online classroom and set up a weekly schedule. You must honor that schedule and contact the tutor if your schedule changes.


What tools do I need to access Learn To Be?

Learn To Be can only be accessed using a Chromebook, Laptop or Desktop with a microphone. You will also need high-speed internet. The online classroom will not work from a tablet or smartphone. Learn more about optimizing your at-home technology for remote learning.

Please contact iFoster at 855-936-7837 email to explore if we can assist you in getting a device or exploring other tutoring options.

If you have any questions about tutoring, you can give feedback directly to the Learn To Be tutor or on the tutoring platform. If you have questions on how to access this resource, please contact iFoster at 855-936-7837 or


Learn to Be FAQs 

Ver traducción al español de preguntas frecuentes

Is the tutoring service free?

YES! Learn to Be tutoring is free for all iFoster Members. Most other students pay on a sliding scale. If you’re not an iFoster member yet, sign up here. Need help? Call iFoster at 855-936-7837 or email


How long does it take for tutoring to begin?

Typically, a tutor will be matched with a student within 3 business days. At that time, the tutor will reach out to the supportive adult and student to set up their first session which is usually within 7 business days from the time a tutor is matched with the student. Priority is given to iFoster Members so being matched with a Learn To Be tutor can take longer for non-iFoster Members.


What is the methodology used to match tutors with students?

For each student, a student profile is created based on answers on the enrollment form. The student profile includes information about the student’s grade level, what subject the student needs help in, etc.

Tutors are able to connect with students based on the information in the student profile. For example, if a student is in grade 7 and needs help with pre-algebra, only a tutor who is able to tutor pre-algebra will connect with that student. By default, this is how matching is done on their platform.


What is the length of time that tutors and students work together?

The average length of tutoring connections on our platform is ~8 months.


What are the background checks performed on tutors? Do they allow for any exemptible crimes?  If so, what?

1. Learn To Be requires video submissions along with resumes from tutor applicants. This is their first round of screening.
2. Applicants who pass the video screen are run through a sex offender background check
3. Applicants who pass the second screen are run through a public record criminal background check

They only approve tutors that successfully pass all of these checks. If anything shows up on these checks, tutors are automatically denied.


What is the learning system tutors use for instruction and are they recorded?

They have a digital classroom on a platform designed for Learn To Be tutoring services that supports audio/video, whiteboard, attachments, etc. Sessions are recorded for quality assurance.


How do they connect with the teacher, Resource Parent, and student to assess academic needs?

Typically, a caregiver/guardian or professional in the youth’s life is provided as the primary contact for the tutor. A tutor typically works with that person identified as the point person for that youth to assess academic needs and monitor progress.


Does iFoster have plans for quality checks?

Students/caregiver/guardian/other professionals and tutors have the opportunity to provide feedback on the platform after every session. Additionally, you can contact iFoster and we can provide feedback to Learn To Be.


Are there Spanish speaking tutors?

YES! Spanish speaking tutors are available, but you must request a Spanish speaking tutor using the Spanish Tutor enrollment form located in the same Learn To Be resource page in the iFoster Resource Portal. Need help? Call iFoster at 855-936-7837 or email


Can tutors help students on IEPs?

YES! Simply put all relevant academic information in the enrollment form indicating the needs of the student and an appropriate tutor will be matched with that student.


Can a student get a different tutor if it is not a good match?

YES! At the end of very session, a student or supportive adult can leave comments for the tutor and they could express any needs that are not getting met. If there is an issue that cannot be resolved directly with the tutor, iFoster can address the issue directly with Learn To Be.


Can a student be tutored in more than one subject?

You should list all of the academic needs of the student in the enrollment form. Typically, a tutor can help a student in more than one subject at a time and can help the student and family prioritize their needs.


What happens if a student routinely misses their tutoring session?

A student or supportive adult should always notify a tutor if they are going to miss a session. If a student misses multiple sessions without any communication, Learn To Be will terminate the tutoring sessions. If the student changes their mind, a new referral can be made.