Ten Magical Things That Happened This Year at 826DC

The young people we serve, the teachers we support, and the city we love have been making magical things happen at 826DC throughout 2019.

1) Third-grade authors published a stunning fairytale collection.

Seven third graders stand in front of an 826DC backdrop with pom pom decorations
All of these students are now published.

The young authors from Bridges Public Charter School wrote and published “This Time They Hear You” through 826DC’s Young Authors’ Book Project.

We have had a blast seeing the community celebrate and appreciate this special book! It was even reviewed by Ron Charles, Book Critic at The Washington Post.

2) You made a serious impact…by playing ping-pong.

Millenials participating in 826DC's Paddlestar Galactica ping-pong tournament stand around a table at SPIN DC.
DC’s weirdest and best ping-pong tournament helps fund 826DC’s writing programs.

Player-fundraisers, fans, and friends came to SPIN DC for the seventh annual edition of our Paddlestar Galactica tournament!

“Everyone had such great energy,” one attendee remarked, “and [was] really excited to participate in such a fun and ridiculous event for such a good cause. Loved the spirit!”

3) Students at our After-School Writing Lab released a poetry chapbook.

Several copies of 826DC chapbook Lemonish & Mangoish
If you like the cover, you should see what’s inside!

The students took their own creative spins on poetry prompts during National Poetry Month. The result: “Lemonish & Mangoish.”

As Interim After-School Writing Lab Coordinator Eileen Chong wrote in the introduction, “They transported us to their favorite places and transformed themselves into unicorns and soccer balls. They used all five senses to experience a color. They reflected upon the essence of a beloved person and what makes someone irreplaceable. And sometimes they played with words simply for the fun of it, because poems don’t always have to take themselves so seriously.”

4) Authors and writers connected with students in classrooms across the District.

Dave Eggers sits with DC students through the 826DC Visiting Authors Program.
Authors like Dave Eggers visited and engaged with DC classrooms.

These caring adults helped DC teachers bring writing lessons to life through our Visiting Authors Program. They shared thought-provoking literature, answered questions about their work and their writing lives, and inspired students to write their own stories.

5) Students from our conservation-themed summer writing intensive held a climate protest.

826DC students hold up environmental protest signs.
Their signs all showcase environmental issues they care about.

After two weeks of learning and writing all about conservation, the students took to the streets to make their voices heard.

6) Artist Kate Fleming transformed the 826DC entryway with a magical mural.

Mural in the entrance of the 826DC storefront, Tivoli's Astounding Magic Supply Company.
That 8-card, 2-card, and 6-card sure look nice together…

The mural ties 826DC’s writing focus in with our magic-themed storefront and with symbols from the Columbia Heights neighborhood. It was covered in New Columbia Heights!

7) Second-grade researchers published original nonfiction books.

An Oyster Adams second grade student holds up her book about dogs.
We joined the students as they shared their books with their delighted families.

Through 826DC’s In-School Writing, Editing, and Publishing program, these Oyster-Adams Bilingual School students became published nonfiction authors.

“My son is eight years old and he just published a book,” one parent said with pride.

8) Young songwriters wrote and performed at Levine Music.

826DC interns stand in front of a chalkboard as students look on.
826DC interns facilitate a “Word Karaoke” activity with the students.

Students at this offsite summer workshop series explored songwriting, created rhythm on the page, and crafted brand-new lyrics and songs based on their favorite music.

9) You supported us from afar through our new 826DC Ambassadors program.

Megaphone with writing tools, books, and the 826DC logo.
It’s a low-pressure, low-commitment way to help us from wherever you are.

To say that people in the DC area are often busy is…an understatement. Even when you couldn’t join us to volunteer in-person, though, you still stirred up support for 826DC’s programs and spread the word about what happens here.

10) Seventh-grade scholars explored and researched at the Library of Congress.

Brookland Middle School scholars from the 826DC Young Authors' Book Project look out over the Library of Congress.

The group from Brookland Middle School had a special tour of the Library of Congress and learned all about researching with primary sources.

That know-how will come in handy as they work on this year’s Young Authors’ Book Project publication: a journalism collection all about the District.


Your help makes all the difference.

We’re so grateful to partner with you in this work! Supporters like you made all of this possible.

Donate here today to make next year even more magical for DC students!