Hayden's Ferry Review


Once upon a wish...

Once upon a time, there was a world where many children did not have access to a good education. This was a terrible world. Many of those children grew up to be poor or impoverished adults who could read and write no better at 30 years old than they could at 13 years old. Relatively few earned higher educations so fewer and fewer adults became teachers so more and more children were being left behind every year. Eventually, only the most determined or the most indifferent (a strange paradox) would take up the call to teach. The classroom was a veritable and unremitting battleground where the teachers were often outnumbered 30 to one. If they could help it, and most couldn’t, no concerned parent allowed their child to set foot in an urban public school. The future of this world was too horrible to think about.

And then there was an idea.

In fact, there were lots of ideas coming from people who come up with ideas for a living. The Lords and Barons from the land of McSweeney poured out their fortunes and talents until they had reached every child in this world and given them a proper foundation in education by teaching them to read and write well and they did it for free and the children became excited about school and homework and learning until Peace, quite unexpectedly, reigned in the world. And they all lived happily ever after!

Alright, so McSweeney’s is actually a publishing house in San Francisco, CA and the Lords and Barons are really Writers and Editors (not necessarily respectively) and we all know that World Peace is still a long way off. But here are the truths; education is in dire straights, urban children are at a particular disadvantage, few people want to teach anymore and for good reasons, the future is often too horrible to think about, and McSweeney’s volunteers at 826 Valencia have put their hearts, souls, and bank accounts on the line in trying to combat these issues free of charge. And. It’s working—this also is a truth.

But David Eggers and his volunteers are only human and can only be in so many places at once. Tutoring centers similar to 826 Valencia have cropped up across the country, but it's still not enough by a longshot. So with the help of the prestigious TED Conferences, LLC. and the hyper-immediate availability of information on the Internet, Eggers has made a wish and submitted it to the cosmos. Will you answer it? But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Watch the video before you answer in haste. Stew on it a bit. Then say YES and like you mean it.