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Tennis legend Andre Agassi is trying to teach kids to read in a new, very fascinating way.

He may have retired from tennis nearly a decade ago, but his passion for education remains strong as ever.

Tennis legend Andre Agassi spent his 21-year career schooling opponents on the court.

In that span, he and his unstoppable backhand shot took home 60 titles — eight of them Grand Slams. It's no wonder he's considered one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.

Andre Agassi during the 1988 U.S. Open Tennis Championship. Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images.


In 1994, he created the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

Since its beginning, the group — which began as the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation — has raised more than $180 million to put toward educational endeavors, opening the Las Vegas-based charter school Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in 2001.

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In an interview with People magazine, Agassi explains that his passion for education came from his own lack of one. When he was 13, he was pulled from regular school and sent to a tennis academy. While he found massive success on the court, he couldn't help but wonder what his life would have been like had he not.

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"I didn't have a choice in my life," he told People. "I just focused on tennis. And the thought of what would have happened had I not succeeded was kind of overwhelming."

Agassi during a tour of his foundation's school in 2010. Photo by Sam Morris/Getty Images.

Understanding the basics of language at an early age is key in preparing students for long-term success.

Educators around the world agree: Early years in a child's development are crucial to eventual mastering of language skills. At a young age, children's brains are more sponge-like than ever, making it so important to make the most of the brain's unique ability to develop new skills during this time.

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What we're seeing is that startling number of kids across the country can't read at grade level. And that's why the Agassi Foundation's latest endeavor has them looking to a unique solution to this all-too-common problem by making the most of early brain development.

GIF via Square Panda.

Agassi teamed up with Square Panda, a startup that makes innovative, multi-sensory tablet workstations for students.

Square Panda was founded by Las Vegas entrepreneur Tom Boeckle, who points to his own childhood dyslexia as his passion fuel, inspiring his goal of creating something to save other children from the same embarrassment and frustration he experienced as a child.

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The company's core product is the Panda Playset, and Agassi says he believes it will revolutionize how kids learn to read, telling USA Today, "This is a perfect way to lead a kid into those early years of development that gives them a chance at a much better education."

Here's the Playset interface in action. GIF via Square Panda.

The Playset is what's called an "adaptive system," meaning that it tailors itself to the child.

It grows with the child, helping them learn how to differentiate letters and learn the mechanics of creating words through a multi-sensory experience. It's really cool.

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As various studies have illustrated the benefits of multi-sensory learning — especially during early brain development and especially when it comes to language skills — it seems like there's quite a bit of science to back the Playset's core premise.

Another look at the Playset in action. GIF via Square Panda.

Will this partnership be the education-redefining innovation Agassi hopes? We'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, it's great to see that there are people seeking out new ways to teach the pillars of education.

Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

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Community

Man uses social media to teach others ASL so kids don't experience what he did as a child

Every child should be able to communicate in a way that works best for them.

Man teaches people ASL so no child experiences what he did

People start communicating from the moment they enter the world usually through cries, faces, grunts and squeals. Once infants move into the toddler phase the combine all of their previous communication skills with pointing and saying a few frequently used words like "milk," "mama," "dada" and "eat."

Children who are born without the ability to hear often still go through those same stages with the exception of their frequently used words being in sign language. But not all hearing parents know sign language, which can stunt the language skills of their non-hearing child. Ronnie McKenzie is an American Sign Language advocate that uses social media to teach others how to sign so deaf and nonverbal kids don't feel left out.

"But seriously i felt so isolated 50% of my life especially being outside of school i had NONE to sign ASL with. Imagine being restricted from your own language," McKenzie writes in his caption.

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Family

Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"

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Joy

Bus driver comes to the rescue for boy who didn't have an outfit for school's Pajamas Day

“It hurt me so bad…I wanted him to have a good day. No child should have to miss out on something as small as pajama day.”

Representative Image from Canva

One thoughtful act can completely turn someone's day around.

On the morning just before Valentine’s Day, school bus driver Larry Farrish Jr. noticed something amiss with Levi, one of his first grade passengers, on route to Engelhard Elementary, part of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) in Louisville, Kentucky.

On any other day, the boy would greet Farrish with a smile and a wave. But today, nothing. Levi sat down by himself, eyes downcast, no shining grin to be seen. Farrish knew something was up, and decided to inquire.

With a “face full of tears,” as described on the JCPS website, Levi told Farrish that today was “Pajama Day” at school, but he didn’t have any pajamas to wear for the special occasion.
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via Imgur

Memories of testing like this gets people fired up.

It doesn't take much to cause everyone on the internet to go a little crazy, so it's not completely surprising that an incorrect answer on a child's math test is the latest event to get people fired up.

The test in question asked kids to solve "5 x 3" using repeated addition. Under this method, the correct answer is "5 groups of 3," not "3 groups of 5." The question is typical of Common Core but has many questioning this type of standardized testing and how it affects learning.

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Joy

There are over 30 years between these amazing before-and-after photos.

"It's important for me for my photography to make people smile."

All photos by Chris Porsz/REX/Shutterstock.

Before and after photos separated by 30 years.


Chris Porsz was tired of studying sociology.

As a university student in the 1970s, he found the talk of economics and statistics completely mind-numbing. So instead, he says, he roamed the streets of his hometown of Peterborough, England, with a camera in hand, snapping pictures of the people he met and listening to their stories. To him, it was a far better way to understand the world.

He always looked for the most eccentric people he could find, anyone who stood out from the crowd. Sometimes he'd snap a single picture of that person and walk away. Other times he'd have lengthy conversations with these strangers.

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