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Teaching is the Best Way to Learn: Why One Man is Hiring Struggling Teens to Tutor Elementary Students

In a district where 85 percent of ninth graders read below grade level, most of the teens hired by Mark and his team know firsthand what it’s like to fall behind in school. Helping younger students become proficient in reading at a young age gives them a chance to be an integral part of fixing this problem. And as it turns out, when teens feel useful and smart, they act that way.

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When Mark Hecker was teaching at a transitional school for kids just out of juvenile detention, he noticed that most of his students weren’t super jazzed about catching up in school.

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Meet the 21st Century Neighborhood Stoop: Your Local 826 Writing Center

Volunteering in your neighborhood makes being neighbors a bit less ominous.


Some of my fondest memories from childhood revolve around the stoop of our apartment building on 140th Street in Harlem. Ours was one of the few tenements at the end of our side of the street (the buildings on the other side of the street had been burned out or abandoned years before). Some of the families that lived there had lived on the block the longest—since the 1950's and 60's. Because of that, our stoop became the de facto center of the neighborhood—at times a meeting place, sometimes the kitchen for a summer party, and when it was just us boys, the bridge of a battle ship.

The stoop linked all of the families and people on the block together. It made us a community with everybody looking out for everyone. If I was doing something I wasn't suppose to, which was often, my grandmother knew because another grandmother or mother on the block was watching out for me. People made sure we went home directly from school instead of wandering onto another block. And it wasn't unusual to hear a scream of, "Is your homework done?" if one of my friends ventured onto the stoop too early after school.

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The Fact That Changed Everything: Ninive Calegari and 826 Valencia

This post is brought to you by GOOD, with support of IBM. If you ever wanted to be a pirate, superhero, or time traveler, there are now stores...

This content is brought to you by GOOD, with support from IBM. Click here to read more stories from The Fact That Changed Everything series and here to read about other Figures of Progress.

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The 100 Best Online Education Resources

Ready to take your online learning experience to the next level? This compilation of the best resources on the web has all the tools you need.

With the amount of education resources online expanding at warp speed, figuring out which sites are high quality—and truly useful—is quite a challenge. Fortunately, the folks over at Mashable have separated the wheat from the chaff for us with their just-released list of 100-plus online resources that are transforming education.

To make it easy to figure out which resource will best suit your needs, the list is conveniently broken down into nine distinct categories such as "collaborative learning," "learner tools," and "live training and tutoring."

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