Be an 826DC Summer 2016 Partner


Summer is right around the corner, so lock in your programming proposals today! Programming opportunities will be extremely limited this season, but we will do our best to accommodate as many requests as possible.

Previous 826DC summer partner programs have included workshops on writing comics, solving mysteries, and creating modern myths. Our services are FREE to schools and teachers and are provided without charge on a case-by-case basis for community groups and other institutions.

We are no longer accepting partnership request for Summer 2016. 

March Volunteers of the Month

Once again, we couldn’t pick just one Volunteer of the Month. This month we’re honoring our wonderfully dedicated Young Authors’ Book Project volunteers, all nine of them! We’d be Long Lost without their dedication and support throughout this year-long project. Recently, we asked Phil Fager, Jeanie Johnson, Jacqueline Collins, Dillon Babington, Elis Rosa, Neil Cooler, Stephen Miler, Lesley Allin, Tara Campbell to tell us more about their involvement with 826DC and their most memorable experience with our flagship publishing project. Stay tuned for more information about picking up your very own copy this Spring!

How did you learn about 826DC, and what made you decide to start volunteering?

LA:  Through my daughter, who had one of his stores in her building in Los Angeles.

PF: I was looking to find an organization to volunteer with, specifically one that focused on education.  My girlfriend was familiar with 826DC and thought it could be a great fit.

TC: When I made a career change to writing and editing, I quickly found that a more flexible schedule can sometimes lead to hours flitting away without impact. I  live in Mt. Pleasant and just happened to stumble upon 826DC’s Museum of Unnatural History storefront. With their emphasis on writing and creativity, I knew that these were people I could hang with.

What is your most memorable experience while volunteering with YABP?

LA: I have been moved by the students I mentor. They have told me the most heartbreaking stories of love and generosity, of grandmothers and mothers and fathers who show their love with food and sometimes make connections with a country of origin so they will not forget. I have been moved by their willingness to share these stories and to trust me to help them become better writers and story tellers. I have been surprised that they have engaged in a partnership with me, someone old enough to be their parent or even grandparent. They have written the most touching thank you notes to me!

PF: My most memorable experience was at the end of the program when I asked one of the students I worked with how she felt about her story and she responded with the biggest smile that she was really happy with it.  Seeing them work on it week after week and see this kind of response when all the hard work was done was amazing.

TC: One of my most memorable volunteer moments was in the creative writing class in Southeast. One of the students I was working with was very quiet, and seemed generally unenthused about being there. I knew she had other major things going on in her life, so I assumed this class was pretty low on her list of priorities. But when she handed me a story she’d written that semester, I was blown away. It was substantive, detailed, and emotionally affecting—a far cry from the minimum required to get by. I then realized that behind the tired eyes staring at her desk, she really had been paying attention and had something to say. And the cherry on top: last spring I got to see her read one of her stories at an 826DC reception at the vice president’s house.

If you could open up a 826 chapter, where would it be located and what would you sell in the storefront?

LA: I would open up a 826 chapter in London and sell all kinds of things that encourage reading and writing, especially cozy blankets, good writing implements and beautiful paper.

PF: I would open one in my hometown.  I was born in a town a couple of hours south of Chicago and they don’t have programs like 826.  I know I would have appreciated having a group like 826 to help with my own creative writing when I was a kid.   I’d sell classic movies and memorabilia and maybe create a couple of new Stanley Kubrick fans.

TC: How about an 826DC chapter in my hometown: Anchorage, Alaska! You could have a tropical paradise theme to lure people in during the long, cold winter.

JC: I would definitely open a chapter in Cleveland, and the store front would be a mad meteorologist’s lab.

March Community Partner of the Month

Our “Community Partner Friday” series allows 826DC to dedicate one day a month to developing new partnerships as well as building on existing ones. On each CPF we work closely with another organization, like the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in Columbia Heights, to provide their students with creative and engaging writing lessons. This month we’re excited to feature one of our favorite collaborators. Lucky for us, John Holmes is just as enthusiastic about building partnerships as we are. Previously, we worked with him on summer programming, and this year we were eager to help create heroes, villains, and more with students from Sacred Heart who participate in his LAYC afterschool program. We asked John to tell us a little bit more about his experience with LAYC and 826DC.

Can you describe your role in LAYC at Sacred Heart?

For LAYC, I am the liaison/site supervisor for the Sacred Heart afterschool program. LAYC has partnered with Sacred Heart to provide after school programming the past 4 years, including homework completion, tutoring, enrichment, sports and more. I coordinate and design monthly themed activities, field trips, as well as the overall schedule. I also look for partners to do presentations, trips and classes during after school.

Why partner with 826DC?

I love collaborating, as seen by the partnership created with LAYC and Sacred Heart. I love the energy and knowledge that the 826 employees provide. They have fun and enriching activities and do a great job connecting to the students. It’s always nice to have the students exposed to new things and to show them how communities can come together.

Tell us about a memorable experience you have from working with the students at Sacred Heart.

I will use the example of when 826 came to Sacred Heart to complete a lesson where students were making their own super heroes or villains. Students of all different ages were so excited! I loved how imaginative they were allowed to be and the buzz of energy it created. Students talked about their super powers even the next day and were still very excited about it.

What is your favorite part about working with this community?

My favorite part about working with this community is the tight knit feel of the school family. It is the kind of place, where people are happy to help one another and greet each other warmly. It is a big machine, where everyone is doing their parts; students, parents and teachers. It is also an environment where hard work is appreciated and respected!