A new name, expanded program at Rock Star Supply Co.

One year after Rock Star Supply Co. set up shop at the southwest corner of Raymond and University avenues, the tutoring and writing development center that offers free tutoring and homework help to low-income students ages 6 to 18, has adopted a new name and expanded programming.

Now called the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute, or MOI, the center will launch a crowdsourcing campaign through Indiegogo on Sept. 15 to raise capital to open a retail shop aimed at funding the program. MOI was awarded a $30,000 Star Grant from the City of St. Paul, and the Indiegogo campaign will raise money to match that funding, said Chad Kampe, director of the center. The funding goal is $41,300. MOI is also one of three groups in the running to receive a $5,000 grant per year over three years from the St. Anthony Park Community Foundation. (See the story about that grant challenge here)

MOI is working to become part of author Dave Eggers’ 826 National, a nonprofit that gives leadership training, administration and other resources to writing and tutoring centers around the country. The centers are patterned after Pirate Supply Co., which was started by author Dave Eggers in San Francisco. Pirate Supply blends a fun retail shop (yes, it sells pirate gear) with artists and writers who are willing to tutor. Besides Kampe,

MOI has two full-time AmeriCorps VISTA workers and a number of volunteers working with students. Kampe says this year schools will come to the center on field trips for bookmaking and writing workshops. Find out more about MOI or to volunteer go to www.moi-msp.org.

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