News and Events
June 2021

Major Strides for Writing Education

Pencils with "Half-Half-Half-Half-Half Marathon" written on them

826DC’s inaugural Half-Half-Half-Half-Half Marathon was pretty astounding!

Each spring, 826DC typically hosts Paddlestar Galactica, a ping-pong tournament that doubles as a fundraiser for our wonderful writing programs.

Like everything and everyone this past year, however, we tried something a little different this time.

826DC’s Half-Half-Half-Half-Half Marathon

Taking a page out of 826 Boston‘s book, we put on a virtual Half-Half-Half-Half-Half Marathon instead!

The Half-Half-Half-Half-Half Marathon was an 0.826 mile mini adventure. The goal? Raising $30K for our accessible writing and publishing opportunities here in the District.

Participants had about five weeks to raise as many donations as possible. Then, on June 5th, they did their self-paced runs/walks/bike rides/naps/et cetera!

Because this was a completely remote experience, we had people join us from all over the DC area, the country, and the world.

Preparing to Go the Distance

In the weeks leading up to the big day, we fundraised and met for virtual “training” sessions over Zoom.

Each week had a different theme! At “The Art of Running,” participants got to know each other better and hung out as we decorated our marathon bibs together. At “Speed Writing,” we did an ode-writing activity with 826DC Director of Education Andrea Nelson, using real student writing as mentor texts.

“It was awesome to get to experience one of the writing activities that local students have done with 826DC,” said participant Daniel Bell-Moran. “I had fun, wrote a poem that I really like, and felt even more connected to this critical work.”

Crossing the Finish Line

Thanks to everyone’s efforts and to our wonderful event sponsors, 826DC didn’t just meet our $30K fundraising goal…we passed it!

Together, we raised a whopping $32.8K.

That’s amazing, especially in a year like this one! We are so grateful for everyone’s support for DC students and their teachers. Your passion, your generosity, and your genuine interest in what young people have to say make this city even better.

From all of us at 826DC—thank you!

Didn’t Get a Chance to Join us?

This first Half-Half-Half-Half-Half Marathon may have ended, but you can definitely still make an impact at 826DC. Here are three ways to do that:

1) You can still donate to the campaign here.

2) If you are interested in participating in or potentially sponsoring a future event like this one, let us know.

3) Fundraisers like the Half-Half-Half-Half-Half Marathon help us publish more DC students. You can pre-order 826DC’s latest book here.