Calvin Pearce

Grade Level: All

"Among the benefits of students participating in peer tutoring are that students develop a love for learning, gain a greater sense of self-esteem, improve attendance, aspire to become teachers, and much more."

Calvin Pearce found a way to involve students in tutoring their younger peers, engage parents in their children's education, and address the Digital Divide – all through his Time Dollar Tutoring program. Peer tutors earn "time dollars" toward an Internet-ready computer, equipment that has been reclaimed, recycled, and upgraded. Time Dollar Tutoring targets schools with a 90% free lunch program and high poverty rate, helping student participants develop a love for learning, a greater sense of self esteem, and improving attendance. Many of them emerge with aspirations to become teachers, among other lofty goals.

In its eight-year existence, Time Dollar Tutoring has placed 5,075 computers in disadvantaged homes and helped students average a year's growth in math and reading scores. In addition, 450 tons of computer waste has been redirected out of landfills. Pearce's program has shipped computers to Trinidad and Ghana, set up computer reading labs in several schools, and run computer-training labs that help teenagers enter the job market. The United Kingdom, Japan, and The Chicago Bulls have all started using the Time Dollar Tutoring program.