Sometime after 10 a.m. on June 3, during a storytelling and bookmaking field trip, something amazing happened. Amidst soccer-playing characters with superpowers and a candyland setting, we exceeded our goal for the year and served our 5,000th student (!!!). This accomplishment is the culmination of a journey that started almost six years ago, back when we opened the doors of our first writing center. It follows a trend of program expansion over the past few years: in the 2013-2014 school year, we served over 3,341 students and during 2014-2015, we served over 4,517. Now that school’s out, we’ve served 5,346 students this year!
Serving over 5,000 students made for a busy year at 826DC. This year we hosted over 120 field trips for over 100 different schools, increased our number of Young Authors’ Book Projects (including our first bilingual YABP), hosted more workshops than ever before, published over 100 student in-school writing projects, and moved to a brand-new location.
“It’s been an absolutely wonderful year of so, so many publications, stories, and even more amazing writers,” Neekta Khorsand, our On-Site Programs Manager, said. “It was a marathon of a year but every year leading up to this one has prepared us for it and every day has been worth it to see the writers who’ve joined us grow and hear them tell their stories proudly.”
Of course, we can’t take all the credit for exceeding our goal. We couldn’t have done this without the amazing people who helped, from donors to volunteers to interns to the amazing communities that we were able to work with. We feel so grateful to have worked with all of them and we can never thank them enough for their hard work, generosity, and dedication to our students.
Since we accomplished our goal, it’s time to set new, bigger ones! We’re excited to continue deepening our impact on students in the District by inspiring them to write. This year 826DC will embark on a new strategic plan to set our ambitious course of growth for the next 3 years.
Engaging over 5,000 students this year has been a lot of hard work, but the absolute best kind. We’ve been able to work with great students and amazing volunteers, and we feel so grateful for that. The whole process has been gratifying, humbling, inspiring, and, above all, magical.
Here’s to the future!