Location: Massachusetts, United States
Issue Areas: Arts Education

826 Boston is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. With this in mind we will provide drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications. All of our free programs will seek to strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice.

Scheduled to open its doors officially in the fall, 826 Boston is to become the seventh chapter of 826 National, an umbrella organization that works toward duplicating the successful 826 Valencia program in youth writing centers across the country. Recognized as an official chapter in December, 826 Boston has access to all the pedagogical tools that made 826 successful in other cities. We are also an autonomous, local organization, responsible for all our administrative and educational operations.

This spring we begin initial programming with a special series of workshops at The English High School. Talented volunteers will visit once a week to work with EHS students, who will be writing about their lives. Additionally, a number of local authors, including Junot Díaz, Steve Almond and Kelly Link, will be speaking at the high school library about their experiences as published writers. The workshop series will culminate in the publication of a book of essays written by the students, discussing how they believe their school should operate.

While the bulk of our programming will begin once we open our space, there is much work to be done in the meantime.