Changemaker Nomination: Mark Hecker, LICSW

It’s the next 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to Mark Hecker, LICSW:

Here’s what Judy has to say about this fearless individual:

“Mark Hecker has created an extraordinary model for addressing a significant literacy challenge among the students of the District of Columbia’s Public Schools. 85% of the city’s students do not read at grade level when they enter 9th grade, a problem that develops as early as 3rd grade for most students. Mark’s nonprofit, Reach Incorporated, uses a highly creative approach to addressing these issues. He trains low-performing adolescents to create lesson plans grounded in the principles of literacy development and to serve as tutors for low-performing elementary students in their neighborhoods. The teens gain proficiency in reading skills without being made to feel inadequate, and the elementary students gain both a cherished, cool mentor and a literacy instructor in the process. Both students benefit enormously from this very special relationship. This early stage social venture has the potential to change thousands of young lives. Mark and Reach Incorporated are worthy of support.”

A little more info:

41_ReachInc“85% of DC public school students do not read at grade level when they enter 9th grade. These problems develop early; proficiency by 3rd grade is critically important.

You may see two challenges. We see one solution.

Reach Incorporated uses an innovative, three-pronged model:

Training: Two days each week, teachers guide our adolescent tutors in preparing lesson plans grounded in the core components of literacy development.

Tutoring: On two alternating days, our tutors provide reading instruction to elementary school students in need of support.

Compensation: Our tutors are paid for program participation and can earn raises based on performance in and after school.

Reach Incorporated is a 2011 winner of the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship, an honor bestowed upon the most promising early-stage social innovations in the world. The organization was also recently highlighted as a 2012 Social Innovation Rockstar.”

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