Reflection: Progress on Peer Education Program and Extending the Peer Teaching Fund, Indefinitely
A couple months ago, we launched the Peer Teaching Fund, finally revealing to the world the story behind HourSchool: inspired from a research project on homelessness where we realized that homelessness isn’t simply about lack of food and shelter, but also lack of connections and channels to contribute. We started HourSchool to discover the teacher within everyone, to increase self-worth, and to foster a culture of participation in our communities.
Therefore, in addition to running hourschool.com, we now also partner and build education programs with community organizations who share that same vision around having a strength-based approach and focus on creating leaders. The Peer Teaching Fund is specifically used towards programs being implemented at non-profit organizations. We would provide the starting framework, and we co-design to customize it based on their values and needs.
Here is a glimpse of our work on the ground:
After 6 months of collaboration and iterating, we had a reflection meeting with Green Doors last week evaluating our progress to date, looking at +’s & delta’s, and charting a path to move forward. The Director of Communities wrote some really kind words about us afterwards, which gave us some good reassurance that we’re heading in the right direction.
The HourSchool team has contributed significantly to the development of peer-led learning and social activities at Pecan Springs Commons, helping to build community and support leadership development efforts among our residents.
I have been particularly impressed at their process of implementation, reflection, and improvement. Their introduction of interactive activities at our residence council meetings to engage our residents in designing learning and social activities has led to increased interest and participation in the program, as well as improving these meetings.
Their thoughtful, inquisitive, and solutions-focused approach has allowed them to quickly identify the opportunities and resources available in the community, working to leverage these assets in their program design.
On another note, we are also extending the Peer Teaching Fund indefinitely. At the beginning when we first launched the fund, we took advice from fundraising best practices: having a deadline to prompt people to act. However, what we’ve learned over time is that someone taking the courage to teach is completely different than them clicking a button to donate or fund a project. We’ve been asked repeatedly to extend the end date because people would like to contribute, but now is simply not the best time for them to teach a class.
We realize that we don’t just want to run a 2-month campaign. We want Peer Teaching Fund to continuously be an integral part of what we do because we will continue to work with these social service agencies, providing them with frameworks and tools to help their clients regain self-sufficiency and self-confidence, so they can once again be the proud, contributing citizen we all aspire to be. Intrigued? Teach a class, share your skills, and empower someone else to do the same.
Thanks for your continued support,