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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Offer an exceptional life-changing opportunity to public school students...

The Ted conference has an interesting contest ( Visit the web site for complete details. Here is a brief description:

The challenge

Design and implement a new and innovative project for local public school students. Collaborate with a dynamic teacher or school to determine the best use of your skills and passion. There are no limitations to what is possible.

Participate by telling your project story

Tell us the general idea of your project, how you shared and employed your particular expertise and creativity. Discuss how you planned and executed your project. Describe the results, how your efforts made a teacher's life easier. Please include photos or video!

TED project evaluation

The TED community will review your project story and evaluate on the basis of:
Did you use a new model? Is your approach creative? Did you provide students access to something new?
How well were you able work with the teacher and/or school? Did you address a challenge facing the students?
What changed in the life of the students, teacher, school, community? Did your work inspire other private citizens?

Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers’ Wish

“I wish that you — you personally and every creative individual and organization you know — will find a way to directly engage with a public school in your area, and that you’ll then tell the story of how you got involved, so that within a year we have 1,000 examples of innovative public-private partnerships.”

How TED can help:

  • HOT Studio has built the first phase of a website — — to power Dave’s wish by: Providing guidelines for partnering with schools and receiving pledges and stories of involvement.
  • Scale up the site so that it includes social networking functionality (teacher/wish-granter connections), a robust tracking system for projects/ideas/stories, and the ability for metatagging and search functionality (by geography, topic, age groups, etc.).
  • Build awareness around the wish to recruit public school champions across America and maybe even beyond.
  • Build a small team at 826 National who will manage all the offers and stories coming in and manage the website itself.
  • Inspire companies and individuals to connect with their schools and ensure we will have 1,000 stories told.

What we are looking for:

  • 1,000 people to directly engage with their local public schools
  • Domain hosting
  • A technology solution to help locate schools you can contribute to
  • A technical partner to include social networking functionality in the site
  • A technical partner to extend the robustness of the tracking system
  • Funding
  • Marketing strategy
  • Media partners
  • PR

About Dave Eggers

Author, philanthropist and literary entrepreneur

“When we think about kids and education, we have to get back to the basic undeniable that kids are individuals, they learn in a thousand ways, and there are undeniable steps to greater education for all: better salaries for teachers, smaller class sizes, and more one-on-one attention.”

Dave Eggers’ first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genuis, was a memoir about becoming the official guardian of his 8-year-old brother at the age of 22. The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; the New York Times called him a staggeringly talented new writer. Since then Dave has written a number of other books, including You Shall Know Our Velocity!, followed by a collection of short stories, How We Are Hungry, and his latest book, What Is the What, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

But Eggers’ career ranges far beyond writing books. In 1998, he founded McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house which publishes books, a quarterly literary journal also called McSweeney’s, the Believer (a monthly magazine of essays and interviews), Wholphin, a short-film DVD quarterly, and a daily humor website. In 2002, Eggers opened 826 Valencia, a writing and tutoring lab for young people, in San Francisco’s Mission District. National 826 chapters have opened in Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston and Chicago. Each year, with the help of his workshop students, Eggers edits The Best American Nonrequired Reading, a collection of fiction, essays, and journalism. He is also responsible, with his brother Toph, for the Haggis-on-Whey series of children’s reference books, among them Giraffes? Giraffes! and Animals of the Ocean, in Particular the Giant Squid.

A staunch advocate of teachers, Eggers instituted a monthly grant for exceptional Bay Area teachers, and in 2005 co-wrote Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America’s Teachers. His interest in oral history led to his 2004 cofounding of Voice of Witness, a nonprofit series of books that use oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. He recently co-wrote, with Spike Jonze, the film adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

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