“Getting Up to Speed”

In my societal commentary,”Orion … A Feline Metaphor for Hybrid Governance,” I proposed a hybrid type of governance as alternative to our current political malaise and civic ineptitude. At the center of this hybrid is the Community 3.0 Front Porch civic network. A Front Porch can be the local pub down the street or the coffee-house you get your morning the espresso from. It can be Bill’s garage where everyone hangs out to watch Sunday football games. It can even be your kitchen table. What happens on the Front Porch is what matters … not what it looks like or where it is.

The Front Porch’s purpose is to identify Solutions, whether they be in response of needs or opportunities. These Solutions are designed to help your community pick up the slack and mend its societal safety net. They can range from organizing a cleanup effort, to fixing a playground, to even spearheading a high school mentoring or apprentice program.

To get a more full understanding of the Community 3.0 Front Porch concept, please read the post, “Front Porches.

As a part of the Community 3.0 platform we’ve put together a roster of several examples of what can come of collaborations in your community’s Front Porches. Imagine, take direct action … and this could be your community.

One of these examples is “Getting Up to Speed.”

Soar Tutoring
Soar Tutoring

Student Tutoring


Schools are designed around a curriculum that is learned in increments. Learn one thing and then move on the next thing. One builds on the other. But what if you didn’t understand that first thing. How can you learn that second thing or the third, fourth or fifth. In many cases you don’t. And then you just fall further and further behind. And with that comes disengagement and very often dropping out of school all together.

When my daughter, Alex, was in 2nd grade – she went to school in Tiburon, just north of San Francisco. Tiburon is a very affluent area and its school system is considered one of the best in California.

One day I was sent a letter from the school. The letter read that the school wanted to put my daughter in a remedial reading class … since she couldn’t read! This came as a complete surprise to me. She was bright and curious and I was told in 1st grade in Irvine (where we lived the previous year), she was doing fine. She didn’t really have homework and I came from a family where my parents didn’t read to me, so I just missed it. 

One day a week, Alex went to this “special” class. The expectations on the students were virtually non-existent. I was told if they learned two words a week that was good. It was all about self-confidence. After six weeks, and reading a book called, “Why Johnny Can’t Read or Write but Feels Good About Himself,” I took matters in my own hands.

Alex had more than enough intelligence to learn to read. But it was obvious, the “whole language” approach the school was using wasn’t happening.  Reading to a kid over and over again amounts to little more than maybe an interest in reading (which is great) and word memorization. But what if they run into a word they haven’t seen before.


Over the course of a weekend, I created a set of fifty phonics blends cards – like flash cards. I tried to think of every blend imaginable, depicted it in a word and then included it in a sentence on each card. After all – how would  someone know the pronunciation of “tion”  or “cial.” It makes no sense. I thought if my daughter learned the blends then she could decipher the words … and in turn, read.

The next Monday I pulled Alex out of the “that special class,” much to the disconcert of her teacher and the principal. I actually had to sign a release. But within one month of using the flash cards, Alexandria Forsberg was reading one grade ahead of the class!

With school budgets being just another target of austerity efforts, there’s little that can be done for those that fall behind. And not all parents can do or have the time to do what I did. This is where you and Community 3.0 come in with our “Getting Up to Speed” tutoring program. With the help of our benevolent Merchants and their patrons in our network, Community 3.0 will be the seamstress that will mend the academic safety net. Our Merchants will organize tutoring efforts with local schools for students who need that little “hand up.” The health of your community depends on its future generations. To abandon them is equivalent to having your community commit suicide.

We invite you to be part of the solution and share your experience and share your knowledge. There are too many students of all ages, for fault not of their own – that are hanging in the balance. With that little assistance, someone that’s not their teacher or their parents; they may establish themselves firmly on the side of success.


If you wish to join us at Community 3.0 making “Getting Up to Speed” a success and impactful on numerous young students lives then please tell us. Help us create a foundation for which our communities can build on in their quest for self-sustainability and well-being. We ask that you, part of our Community 3.0 family, band together with us to provide the assistance that these up and coming generations need to flourish in the future. No matter what role you wish to play; whether it’s directly in your community or you’re someone who wants to lend your experience and expertise to us in devising network-wide programs … we welcome you.

To get a more full understanding of the Community 3.0 Front Porch concept, please read the post, Front Porches.Also please follow us on Twitter at @Community3_0, and check out the main 3.0 web site.

And when you’re ready – please comment below, tell us who you are and how you think you can better the 3.0 community.


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