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826 National
Formation 2002
Type Non-profit organization
Purpose/focus Education
Headquarters 826 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
CEO Nínive Clements Calegari
Main organ Advisory board

826 National is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students, ages 6–18, with expository and creative writing at seven locations across USA. The chapters include 826 Valencia in San Francisco, 826NYC in Brooklyn, New York, 826LA in Los Angeles, CA, 826CHI in Chicago, 826 Seattle, 826michigan in Ann Arbor and 826 Boston in Boston. the 826 National mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. Each 826 chapter provides drop-in tutoring, class field trips, writing workshops, and in-schools programs—all free of charge. 826 chapters are especially committed to supporting teachers, publishing student work, and offering services for English language learners.[1]


826 National chapters

The seven chapters that make up 826 National include unique retail stores. All proceeds from the storefronts go directly to 826 writing programs.

826 Valencia runs San Francisco's only independent Pirate Supply Store. Located in the heart of San Francisco's Mission District, the store is the front entrance of the tutoring center and has the look and feel of an authentic pirate shop. The store sells pirate clothing, eyepatches, compasses, spyglasses, pirate dice, skull flags, and secret treasures. Unsuspecting visitors are sometimes treated to surprise "moppings." Shoppers can also find back issues of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, books published by McSweeney's, and essay and story compilations written by 826 Valencia students.

A second writing center, 826NYC in Brooklyn, New York, features The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company, offering capes, antimatter and secret identity kits.

Another at 826michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan is home to Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair where everything for the robot or robot enthusiast can be found, including the Is Your Little Sister A Robot? kit.

The 826 Seattle writing center in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood is host to the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company, outfitting adventurers, commuters and rocket scientists (professional and freelance).

826CHI, in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, is also the location of The Boring Store, which does not sell spy supplies like trench coats or night-vision goggles.

826LA has opened The Echo Park Time Travel Mart, featuring products such as Mammoth Chunks, Dodo Chow and Anti-Robot Fluid (bottled water).

826 Boston opened their doors in Fall 2007 with The Bigfoot Research Institute of Greater Boston, specializing in cryptozoology where one can pick up a Jungle Hygiene Kit or an unofficial Yeti Hairball.

Volunteer network

826 National is supported by a large volunteer network, which includes authors, journalists, poets, teachers, and documentary filmmakers. Authors Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, along with veteran educator Nínive Clements Calegari, founded the first center in San Francisco, 826 Valencia in April, 2002. 826 Valencia has attracted teachers and supporters such as Michael Chabon, Isabel Allende, Keith Knight, Daniel Handler, Amy Tan, Robin Williams, and Erika Lopez. Other chapters have been equally successful in harnessing support from local literary and cultural superstars, such as writers Sarah Vowell, Sherman Alexie, David Sedaris, Zadie Smith, Melissa Mathison, and Davy Rothbart, as well as other notable public figures including Phil Jackson, Ira Glass, Jon Stewart, and Spike Jonze. 826 National provides urban public school students with valuable apprenticeship-style opportunities from these and other local literary arts professionals through personalized interactions and mentorship.[2]

826 publications

826 publishes a vast amount of student writing, in genres ranging from journalism to cartooning. Students can take pride in creating a professionally finished product and experience, appreciate, practice, and recognize great writing. Because of the well known sponsors and the professional quality of the publications, students work diligently and learn everything about the process of publishing.[3] Thousands of student publications are released each year, from chapbooks and newspapers to quarterly journals and collaborations with acclaimed authors. The most recent publications from chapters include:

In Show of Hands, a collection of essays by juniors and seniors at Mission High School in San Francisco, young authors reflect on the Golden Rule, which tells us that we should act toward others as we would want them to act toward ourselves. The book, released by 826 Valencia, features a foreword by author Joe Loya.[4]

STEW, The Magazine About Et Cetera: The Brooklyn Issue, published by 826NYC, highlights articles written by juniors at The Secondary School for Journalism based on interviews and independent reporting. It examines changes in Brooklyn and includes a feature on New York City's public schools.[5]

826LA will soon release Sheep Can't Fly, a collection of writing exploring the nature of the hero. Their largest and most ambitious publication yet, it is composd of essays and short stories about determination, triumph and redemption, as well as a talking ferret and a squirrel.[6]

In Our Hood: 52 Short Plays You Can Perform In Any Place is 826 Seattle's third collaboration with Hamilton International Middle School and writing workshop students.[7]

The 826michigan Omnibus contains work from seventy 826michigan students between the ages of six and eighteen. Included is a lengthy appendix which highlights volunteers, past workshops and in-schools, the top ten acronyms of OMNIBUS, and a word from Dr. Blotch.[8]

The first publication of the youngest chapter, 826 Boston, I Wish They Would Have Asked Me collects essays, poems, short stories and letters written by 11th and 12th grade students from The English High School in Jamaica Plain. The anthology covers themes of education, immigration, violence, family and perseverance with a foreword by Steve Almond.[9]

After the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, 826 students across the country were asked: "What should President Obama do now?" The results are collected in Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' Letters to President Obama, published in conjunction with McSweeney's. Proceeds benefit 826 National.

Maps and Legends is Michael Chabon's first book of non-fiction. Proceeds from Maps and Legends will benefit 826 National.

See also


External links



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