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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services

Mission: 826 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Programs: During the 2013-2014 school year, we served 41 teachers and 1,990 students at 14 san francisco unified school district schools through our in-schools program. In this, our ninth year at everett middle school, we served students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades through our 826 writers' room and published three issues of the bilingual student newspaper, straightup news. At our other writers' room at james lick middle school, now in year six, we served students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades and created two issues of slick, a magazine for middle-schoolers. For our most intensive publishing endeavor of the year, we worked with seniors at thurgood marshall high school on a book, called unchartered places, which explores themes of physical and metaphysical place. We also added a third satellite program at buena vista horace mann k-8, and served 40 students daily after school with writing tutoring (resulting in two chap books) and 15 students through a weekly seminar (resulting in a magazine entitled say what).

our after-school tutoring program remains one of the cornerstone programs of 826 valencia. During the 2013-2014 year, we hosted the program mondays through thursdays throughout the school year for 77 enrolled students, with an average of 34 students each day. Highlights of the year included two young writers' wall celebrations, where we honor six students and feature their accomplishments with full color portraits and profiles on the back wall of our writing lab, and two issues of look closer/mira de circa, our anthology of shorter student works. We also started a new program, called pathways, that is open on tuesday and thursday evenings to support 22 middle and high school students with their homework assignments.

field trip program: during the 2013-2014 school year, we hosted 102 field trips, with a combined total of 2,346 students from local schools visiting our center in the mission district of san francisco for a morning of high-energy learning. The most popular field trip again this year was one we invented, "storytelling and bookmaking", where students write, illustrate, and bind their own books in two hours.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Where do I even start... there was so much I loved about the summer program. There is something so exciting about actually seeing someone learn right before your eyes. It was also really special for me to be able to learn from them, they loved correcting my Spanish at recess and being able to communicate with me in their 'home language'. Seeing the different skills and interests that each of them have really shows how smart they are and how much they are excited about learning. Some favorite memories... I really loved working with Ivan who moved from Salvador five months ago. He was so dedicated in his learning of English and I realized how crucial the ELL program was for him. He told me that none of his teachers at school speak any Spanish which to me seems atrocious given the community of children they are teaching. Getting thanked during the graduation ceremony by several of the students almost made me cry, it really shows how appreciative they are. Coming from my grad program in cultural athropology, I was also really excited to be involved with a program that promotes equality across cultural lines. The excitement about learning still exists at this young age before they realize that societal structures are stacked against them. I think it is so important to cultivate that sort of relationship to education so they don't choose to abandon it later in life. Writing and self expression is a huge mode of power for them. Thank you so much again for the opportunity and I'm pretty sure I'll be coming on Thursdays during the school year.

16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I adore 826 Valencia. They never go halfway with their space, their programs, their students, their volunteers etc., and they have a great sense of humor to boot.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love 826 Valencia! What a fun place to work or simply to visit (the pirate store). I interned at 826 this past summer, and felt that everyone was completely warm and generous and above all overly thankful to have me and the rest of the volunteers there. This organization truly cares about its mission, to create better futures for children, to publish them, and do it with a sense of humor. They are very flexible in terms of scheduling volunteers and would always welcome your support.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

826 Valencia is a truly unique and amazing place. The work they do is fantastic, and is done in good spirits and in a unique way.

16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a summer intern at 826, and I have loved every minute of my experience here. I came in not knowing what to expect, but after meeting the wonderful, exuberant staff and getting involved in the incredible community programs, I regret only that I didn't have more time to give. What amazes me is the simultaneous breadth and depth of 826 programs. This summer, I have helped out with a program for elementary school students struggling with reading and writing in English and an intensive summer writing camp for serious, high school age creative writers. If there is an opportunity to help students enhance their writing skills, the staff and volunteers of 826 will take it on and be endlessly dedicated.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been an intern at 826 Valencia for the past 3 months and the experience has been one of the best in my life. Everyone at this organization is truly dedicated in what they do and it has been amazing to be around so many people who are willing to work extra hard to inspire the students who come here.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've taught writing for over ten years on the middle school, high school and college level, and I have yet to come across an organization as wonderful as 826 Valencia. Like all great ideas, their program is simple: get a big room, a bunch of kids, and a gaggle of volunteers who want to help them learn. Every experience I've had at 826 Valencia has enriched my life.