Once Upon A School: Get Inspired

As part of his TED Prize (the award given by major ideas conference TED to 3 prominent people to have one wish come true), author Dave Eggers talks about his project 826 Valencia, a writing and tutoring center for young people staffed by professional writers and educators, housed behind shops of very unusual nature – the one at Valencia was a “pirate’s goods” store. Originally the storefront was a way to circumvent zoning laws, but it became a good draw (and made money for the center), and soon the project spread to various other tutoring centres+shops across the US and the world.

(click the picture below to see his video on TED)

Dave Eggers talking at TED

Eggers’s wish is for more people to get involved with their local schools and engage their students into learning. To achieve this, he and the people at TED have started Once Upon A School, a website where people can pledge ideas for school engagement and read stories of those that have done so.

Once Upon A School

Some of the ideas include hands-on tutoring for maths and science and companies partnering with classes to provide real-world experiences (much like the KaosPilots), while a couple of projects already running include M.U.S.I.C., which brings pop music into the classroom, and ACE, or Awareness for Communities about Energy, which trains schoolkids and community members about energy-efficient living.

My story about doing a Life after School talk at my old secondary school also made it onto the website. Read my story and share your ideas.

What other ideas do you have for getting involved with your schools? How can communities and schools engage each other?

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