Zachary Clark, 826DC’s Executive Director, did a Q&A with Harvard University’s Ed. Magazine “about running a nonprofit in times of trouble, overcoming the terror of the blank page, and channeling your inner weirdness into passionate writing.”
Two of those Q’s (and A’s):
“Why is publishing student work so important?
It is always powerful, no matter how old you are, to see your name in print. It says, I have something to say, and people are going to learn from it. This, helping young people develop meaningful relationships with writing, is the most important thing we do. Yes, writing is fundamental to academic achievement, and that matters to us. But beyond that, we want young people to see how their stories can impact the world positively and how their perspectives can shape a path forward for them. That requires developing a relationship with the written word so you see it as your own tool. I think that’s where young people see the benefit of 826DC. They see their name in print and consider themselves published writers, and they take that relationship with writing beyond the classroom.
How do you inspire reluctant writers?
Writing is hard. As adults we forget that — but it’s hard to write a thoughtful email, or a persuasive cover letter, or even a kind note. So what we are asking young people to do as they engage in the writing process with us, it takes a lot of bravery. Really honoring the challenge is a key part of the equation.”