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826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen 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 with attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. Our main goals are to close the academic achievement gap for under-served youth in the Bay Area, provide the tools and resources necessary for success in school and beyond, connect caring adults to young people in need of individualized support, and make the path to college and career less of a leap.

ABOUT

826’s goal is to encourage the exploration of endless possibility through the power of writing.

for STUDENTS

To create space for students to develop the skills they need to write their own paths forward, undefined by circumstance.

for TEACHERS

To support new and exciting approaches to writing and inspire student engagement.

for COMMUNITIES

To foster generations of creative writers and thinkers, who together will define a better future.


ABOUT 826 & 826 NATIONAL

826 is the largest youth writing network in the country.

826 National amplifies the impact of our national network of youth writing and publishing centers, and the words of young authors. We serve as an international proof point for writing as a tool for young people to ignite and channel their creativity, explore identity, advocate for themselves and their community, and achieve academic and professional success. We work towards a country in which the power and the joy of writing is accessible to every student in every classroom.

The 826 Network serves close to 80,000 students ages 6 to 18 each year via 826 Digital and through nine chapters: 826 Boston, 826CHI, 826DC, 826LA, 826michigan, 826 MSP, 826 New Orleans, 826NYC, and 826 Valencia. This work is possible thanks to the support of almost 5,000 volunteers. Each chapter has an imaginative storefront that reimagines tutoring as anything but traditional; provides a gateway for meeting families, teachers, and volunteers; and connects students with community members. And of course, sells student publications. In addition, there are over 50 organizations around the world inspired by the 826 model collectively serving an additional 150,000 students.

826 National is the hub of the 826 Network: facilitating collaboration and alignment among our chapters, and bringing the 826 Network model and approach to new communities. Together, we believe writing is the key to cultivating a new generation of creative and diverse thinkers who will define a better, brighter, and more compassionate future.

OF 826 NATIONAL’S OPERATIONS DIRECTLY SUPPORT OUR CHAPTERS’ WRITING AND TUTORING CENTERS

OF 826 NATIONAL’S OPERATIONS SERVE TO ADVANCE THE NETWORK AS A WHOLE


OUR HISTORY

“We wanted to figure out a way to use the limitless energy of the writing community to provide help.”

– DAVE EGGERS

In 2002, internationally-acclaimed author Dave Eggers and award-winning educator Nínive Calegari opened a writing and tutoring center to support overburdened teachers by connecting community members with students who could use their help the most. The space they chose was 826 Valencia Street in the Mission District of San Francisco.

The proximity to families, schools, and volunteers was ideal, but there was one small problem: the building was zoned for retail. So when someone remarked that the space, a former gym, looked strangely like the hull of a ship, the Pirate Supply Store was born. We set sail into the uncharted waters of pencils and parlay. Ahoy.

826 Valencia quickly became a success and soon after, 826 Network chapters opened up across the country. The chapters follow the original 826 model and offer the same core programs, but each chapter has their own unique storefront, theme, and responsive approach to meet the needs of their local students and educators. 826 National was founded in 2008 to serve as the hub of the 826 Network and to bring the 826 model to new communities.

TODAY, THE 826 NETWORK HAS GROWN BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS—FROM A SINGLE LOCATION IN SAN FRANCISCO TO A GLOBAL MOVEMENT DEDICATED TO GETTING YOUNG PEOPLE TO EXPERIENCE THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF WRITING.

IMPACT

“826, by design, is a creative space, and the ethos of 826 centers is to encourage creativity. Within 826, there is a ‘culture of creativity’ driven by a set of norms which infuse daily activity, from the tone set by staff to the way in which tutors work with students to the inventiveness of young people once given the okay to explore.These norms include: experimentation and risk-taking for student writing; respect for diversity of learning styles; honoring diversity of opinion, race, ethnicity and culture; and experimentation for tutors in working with students on homework and writing.”— Arbor Consulting Partners

The 826 National office facilitates research and evaluation for the 826 network. Our assessments inform future program development, and help us to understand and share the impact of our programs. To gather this data, we evaluate our students, teachers, parents, and volunteers both internally using means such as surveys, and through external means such as outside evaluation.


2017-18 BY THE NUMBERS

38,912

STUDENTS SERVED AT 826 CHAPTERS

40,470

STUDENTS REACHED BY 826 DIGITAL

746

STUDENT PUBLICATIONS

1,099

TEACHERS SERVED

1,739

AFTER-SCHOOL TUTORING SESSIONS

4,829

ACTIVE VOLUNTEERS

263

IN-SCHOOL PROJECTS

805

FIELD TRIPS

1,005

WRITING WORKSHOPS


OUR FOCUS AREAS

In our work with our students, and through our signature culture of creativity, we focus on having an impact on three broad domain areas, outlined in detail below: academic gains, social/emotional gains, and communication skills development.

ACADEMIC GAINSSOCIAL & EMOTIONAL GAINSCOMMUNICATION GAINS
Writing Skills
Engagement and motivation in school and schoolwork
Homework (completion/understanding)
Confidence/Pride
Self-efficacy
Fostering creativity
Increased self-expression
Learning to ask for help
Interacting with adults

2017-2018 SURVEY RESULTS

THEY FEEL AN INCREASE IN THEIR CONFIDENCE ABOUT WRITING IN ONE OF OUR CORE WRITING PROGRAMS.

THEIR CHILD RECEIVES BETTER GRADES IN SCHOOL WITH THE HELP OF 826.

THAT 826 PROVIDES A SAFE PLACE FOR THEIR STUDENTS.


826 NATIONAL DOCUMENTS

THEORY OF CHANGE
(ENGLISH & SPANISH

STRATEGIC PLAN

2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT 

826 NATIONAL
OVERVIEW SHEET


EXTERNAL REPORTS

AFTER-SCHOOL TUTORING EVALUATION

In October 2013, 826 National contracted Arbor Consulting Partners to conduct a national study on the impact of the 826 network’s after-school tutoring (AST) program on participating students.

YOUNG AUTHORS’ BOOK PROJECT EVALUATION

Beginning in the fall of 2012, Arbor Consulting Partners observed and evaluated one of the network’s hallmark programs, the Young Author’s Book Project. The evaluation was conducted with a group of 826 Boston students out of the Boston International High School.

INDEPENDENT REPORTS

Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts

In the fall of 2013, the Wallace Foundation featured 826 National (along with 826NYC and 826 Valencia) as one of eight “exemplary” after-school programs. Contained in their report and research are the ten success principles they outlined as contributing to highly effective programs.


HIGHLIGHTS

The stories below illuminate narratives of a few inspirational, key players across the 826 network who contribute to our mission in different ways. Written by independent researcher/evaluator, Mindy Fried, PhD, of Arbor Consulting Partners, “826 Stories” share perspectives from teachers, students, volunteers, and staff.

MARISA URRUTIA GEDNEY | EDUCATOR. LEADER. MENTOR.

Marisa Urrutia Gedney’s story highlights how she evolved in her role at 826 to eventually become a Director of Education at 826LA. Marisa reflects on the importance of making an impact on a community you feel deeply connected to, the … Continue reading →

JENN DE LEON | TEACHER. AUTHOR. CHAMPION.

In the spring of 2015, seventh and eighth-grade teacher Jenn De Leon partnered with 826 Boston on their Young Authors’ Book Project (YABP). Her involvement with 826 during this project is explored in this story. As an author herself, Jenn … Continue reading →

RASHAWNDA WILLIAMS | SLAM POET. ACTIVIST. YOUTH WRITING AMBASSADOR.

Rashawnda Williams is just one of the many students that came to 826 and blossomed into an empowered writer. She shares about discovering her passion for spoken word, becoming a Youth Writing Ambassador, and the role 826 played in her … Continue reading →

MILES PORTEK | 826NYC VOLUNTEER

826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around our belief that great leaps in learning can … Continue reading →

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