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Archive for : back to school

Recapture the Magic of College: Host an Educational Salon

August is “Back to School” month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for posts about inspiring education organizations, amazing educators, and ways to get your education on – whether you’re a student or not!

Do you miss college? Of course you do (unless you’re currently a student, of course). When it comes to true learning – the pure, unadulterated work and pleasure of filling our minds with knowledge – college is the best time of our lives. And for graduates, even if we love the work we do, it’s hard not to get a little wistful for a daily schedule designed around reading, thinking and growing.

But don’t get too distressed! It is possible to recapture some of the magic of college without shelling out lots of money for graduate school. The secret: host a salon. Get a group of like minded, college-missing friends together (you know the ones who always say things like, “my brain has totally atrophied since graduation!), pick a subject, and get learning! If you do, you will be in good company as salons were once an important part of European Jewish society. Here’s how:

Pick a location. Find a cozy, relatively quiet place like a cafe or your living room. Have someone joining you from out of town? Bring them into the conversation with Skype.

Have snacks. You cannot learn on an empty stomach – plus, food helps bring people together. So get some healthy snacks together (they don’t have to be fancy) and have them available for noshing on throughout the evening. And don’t forget the coffee.

Teach each other. Everyone has an area of expertise, whether it’s 19th century Russian politics, the history of the Slinky, or how to knit a pair of tube socks. Each gathering, pick a teacher or discussion leader from within your group, so everyone has a turn sharing their knowledge with the group.

Bring in an expert. Have an topic that really interests your group? Invite an outside expert or locally-based professor or book author to come speak at your salon gathering. Cook them a delicious dinner as thanks, or chip in as a group to pay them an honorarium. It will feel just like a college class, minus the steep tuition.

Do good: Each time you meet, put a box in the center of the room and ask everyone to make a donation to an education-focused organization. You can also plan service days for salon members – tutoring days, or working at a soup kitchen, etc. – which will help build your sense of community, and do some good!

Back to School Spotlight: 826 National

August is “Back to School” month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for posts about inspiring education organizations, amazing educators, and ways to get your education on – whether you’re a student or not!

You know that thing when you read or hear about someone doing some great, world-changing work somewhere in the world, and their story is so profound and so elegantly simple that the mere knowledge of its existence alters your life for the better?

That’s pretty much exactly how we feel about 826 National.

Over the last decade, 826 has changed the lives of students in cities all over the country. They do this is two ways: first, they create super kid-friendly spaces – pirate shops (which sell, you guessed it, pirate gear), superhero stores, and robot supply shops, which make kids and adults happy just by entering them. And secondly, right behind those shops they offer innovative tutoring, writing and publishing resources for students to help them improve their writing skills and get excited about writing.

Founded in 2002 by the acclaimed novelist and education advocate, Dave Eggers, 826 now has chapters in eight cities across the country. With the help of volunteers, the 826 centers provide drop-in tutoring, field trips, writing workshops and more. They also focus on publishing original works by students, from essays to full-length books. They have touched the lives of thousands of students, and also the volunteers who tutor them.

Find out more about 826’s awesome work at the video below, and learn how to become an 826 volunteer.

Back to School Spotlight: Pencils of Promise

August is “Back to School” month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for posts about inspiring education organizations, amazing educators, and ways to get your education on – whether you’re a student or not!

Education is a right that every child deserves, and the key to building thriving communities. Unfortunately, not all children have the same access to a good schools – or sometimes any school at all. That’s why the great folks at Pencils of Promise have made it their business to build schools in developing countries, ensuring as many young students around the world as possible have the chance to learn.

It all started when Pencil of Promise’s founder, Adam Braun, was traveling the globe and met a young boy begging in India. He asked the child what he wanted most in the world, and heard a shocking answer: a pencil. That encounter inspired Braun to launch Pencils of Promise in 2008. Since then, the organization has already made a huge difference, building more than 130 schools and sustainable education systems across South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. In doing so, they have touched the lives of over 100,000 people.

Pencils of Promise, which is run almost entirely by Millenials (including Braun), is an inspiring tale of young people who saw a need in the world and found innovative ways to fill that need. Check out the video below for more information, and visit their website to make a donation. 100% of online donations go directly to fund new schools.

This School Year, Say No to Bullying

August is “Back to School” month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for posts about inspiring education organizations, amazing educators, and ways to get your education on – whether you’re a student or not!

Think school bullying isn’t really a problem? Consider this stat: in recent years, nearly 1/3 of all high school aged students reported having been bullied at school.

Bullying takes many forms from physical intimidation or violence, to verbal threats, and put-downs about someone’s academic performance, weight, gender or sexual orientation. Bullying can mean shoving someone into a locker, whispering behind a person’s back in the hallway, or spreading gossip about someone on Facebook – the actions may be different, but the feelings of shame and sadness they bring up for the person being bullied are the same.

This school year, make a commitment to say NO to bullying by supporting organizations that promote inclusivity and tolerance.

    • StopBullying.gov Watch StopBullying.Gov’s video below, then check out their interactive graphic about how to be more than a bystander to bullying.
    • The Trevor Project: This organization works to prevent suicide (much of it related to bullying) within the LGBTQ community.
    • Stop Bullying: Speak Up: Like the Stop Bullying page on Facebook to stay up to date on new and innovative ways to stamp out bullying.
    • Cartoon Network: Like drawing comics? Enter the Cartoon Network’s anti-bullying comic challenge.

Change a Life: Become a Tutor

August is “Back to School” month at Repair the World. Check back all month long for posts about inspiring education organizations, amazing educators, and ways to get your education on – whether you’re a student or not!

Hey college grads: remember how awesome it was to be a student? Okay, sure, there were overwhelming syllabuses, stressful tests, and an endless stream of papers to write. But still, college was great. When else in life do you get to dedicate four whole years to learning and expanding your horizons?

Truth is, once you get to the other side of graduation, finding time for meaningful learning and idea sharing can be difficult. But it’s not impossible! There is a way to recapture the magic of school: become a volunteer tutor! Through tutoring, you have the opportunity to share in someone else’s education journey, and help them along the way. Meanwhile, you will almost definitely learn yourself – as the saying goes, “students are the greatest teachers.”

So get back on the education wagon (minus the tests and papers), and become a tutor this fall! Here are some opportunities to get you started:

  • Reading Partners This literacy organization trains community volunteers to provide one-on-one reading tutoring to students in under-resourced schools across the country. They currently run programs in seven states and the District of Columbia – find out if there’s a program near you.
  • 826 Founded by author Dave Eggers, this amazing program empowers volunteer tutors to help students with writing skills at 8 different centers around the country. And they do it in just about the funnest way possible.
  • Math Nerds Good at math? Become an official math nerd, and join the ranks of other talented mathematicians who donate their time to help people with math-related quandries.
  • Volunteer Match Just type your location and the words “tutor” or “tutoring” into Volunteer Match’s service database to find a tutoring opportunity near you.

Go Back to School with Repair the World

Bust out your backpacks, colored pencils, and first day outfit – it’s back to school time! These last, glorious days before the class bell rings again are always sweet, and this year Repair the World is gearing up to make them even better!

All August long, our blog will feature fun, inspiring posts to help you get those back to school juices flowing. You’ll find:

* Interviews with trend-setting education organizations
* Last minute must-read lists (while you still have the time to read for fun)
* Tips to broaden your horizons – for students, and graduates too!
* Opportunities to support education initiatives around the country

This last month of summer, be sure to make the most of your warm-weather freedom: get to the beach, reconnect with camp friends, and finish up all those projects you’d put off until summer. But in the meantime, be sure to check back right here for all your back to school inspiration!

Back to School Service!

While you join the hundreds of thousands of kids around the country who are heading Back to School, why not stand out — and head back to service?

Sure, the new school year is a great time to test a new hairstyle, new kicks, try out for the school play or a sports team. And maybe you’ll finally get that date with the boy or girl you’ve been crushing on. But the new school year is also a great time to give back to your community and the planet by picking an afterschool volunteer project to stick with throughout the school year.

Just a few hours a week can make a tremendous difference to people, animals and the environment – all of which really need it! AND, you’re guaranteed to meet new and interesting people, feel great, and learn something that doesn’t come from a textbook. Not to mention that you can also get some awesome experience that impresses universities and potential employers.

Interested? Great. Here’s how you can get started!
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