826LA’s mission is to support students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills, and to help teachers inspire their students to write.
Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.
Source: IRS Form 990
From Monday to Thursday, elementary school students rush to 826LA after school for free individual tutoring in all subjects. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the program stays open to middle and high school students exclusively. Once homework is completed, all students read books from 826LA’s library and write stories based on a monthly theme. Students submit their writing for inclusion in chapbooks, which 826LA publishes throughout the year. To celebrate students’ hard work, 826LA unveils these chapbooks at book release parties, where students read their work to thunderous applause from their tutors, families, and peers.
1) Yaret enrolled in 826LA’s tutoring program nine years ago. After spending part of an academic school year in Mexico, Yaret felt like it took her a long time to get used to speaking in English again. Within a year of starting at 826LA, she was reclassified as English proficient and moved out of her bilingual class. Yaret is now part of 826LA’s Youth Advisory Board. “The word to describe it would be ‘honored,’” she says. “It’s like we are the role models for the young ones. They will look up to us and know they can get to the top, too.”
2) Alba Sanchez enrolled her daughter Jocelyn in 826LA’s tutoring program last year because, although she was in second grade, she could not read. Ms. Sanchez has noticed a difference in her daughter since she enrolled—she now is not frustrated by homework that used to make her cry. Ms. Sanchez said that her favorite aspect of the program so far had been, “That she gets help with her homework and with reading. I also like it when she is sitting down and engaged. It’s very nice to see her participate.”
Weekday mornings, public school teachers bring their students to 826LA for a morning of collaboration, creativity, and writing. Whether the topic is Storytelling & Bookmaking, Choose Your Own Adventure, or something entirely different, these three-hour field trips are always in high demand. Every student leaves with an individualized publication of the finished story under his or her arm, complete with illustrations and an author photo! 100 percent of teachers report that their students take a new excitement for writing back to the classroom thanks to 826LA’s field trips.
1) Field trips are hugely popular, and to address the demand in 2016, 826LA prioritized schools with where 51% or more of the students are categorized as economically disadvantaged. So far this year, 100% of field trips have been scheduled with target schools, up from 89% last year.
2) Last year, 99% of teachers who brought their students on a field trip reported that their students would bring new excitement for writing back to the classroom, and 100% of teachers reported that their students learned new things about writing from the field trip program.
826LA’s workshops bring students together with artists, writers, and professionals for creative collaboration. Whether the subject is journalism or preparing for the zombie apocalypse, our workshops foster creativity while strengthening writing skills. On Saturday mornings, 826LA hosts an ongoing workshop for reading development called Barnacle’s Bookworms.
1) On Saturday mornings, 826LA offers a workshop called Barnacle’s Bookworms, during which elementary school students are paired with specially trained volunteers to practice reading grade level-appropriate books. They then complete assorted skills-building projects. One parent, Mariana, recently reflected on her son’s progress thanks to the workshop: “He can read faster and his comprehension has improved since he’s advanced in different levels, and he enjoys reading more now,” Marina says. “I’m proud of my son because he tries his best. Sometimes he gets frustrated but he doesn’t give up. He’s learned so much, thanks to 826LA. I’m very happy I found this program.”
2) In addition to college-access and creative writing workshops, 826LA offers Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-based writing workshops, supported in part by corporate partnerships with technology companies.
Because not all students can come to us, 826LA brings specially trained volunteer tutors into under-resourced public schools. There, volunteers provide one-on-one assistance with writing projects. 826LA works with teachers to craft all projects, which are designed to engage students while targeting curricular issues. In addition to visiting twenty schools in the Los Angeles School District each year, 826LA has Writers’ Room on the campus of Manual Arts High School in South Los Angeles.
1) Last year through the In-School Program, 826LA helped every college-eligible senior at Roosevelt and Mendez High Schools in Boyle Heights complete their college applications. 826LA has developed strong relationships with both Mendez and Roosevelt High Schools, where 81% and 79%, respectively, of students are categorized as economically disadvantaged, supporting teachers with writing projects throughout the year.
2) Every year, 826LA’s most in-depth in-school project is the Young Authors’ Book Project. Over the course of semester, high school students go through the entire process of publishing a book, from writing to editing to working with publishers and designers. Past Young Authors’ Book Projects have been used as required reading at UCLA and Cal State LA, as a teacher-training guide for Teach for America, and are available at the Los Angeles Public Library.
826LA has seen tremendous growth over the past three years; hours of programming with students grew over 40% (to 66,739 hours), and in fiscal year 2016, 826LA served a total of 9,085 students. But there are more than 650,000 students in the LAUSD that deserve the opportunity to tell their stories.
The availability of volunteers is the primary limiting factor in expanding 826LA’s services and reaching more students; 826LA cannot grow without recruiting and retaining more community volunteers. Volunteers provide the individualized attention and mentoring that is central to 826LA’s programs. In a given week, 826LA have 150+ volunteers working with its students.
Throughout his career in education, Joel Arquillos has helped young people become lifelong learners. Joel taught in the San Francisco Unified School District and developed digital writing curriculum prior to becoming a non-profit professional. He was 826 National’s Director of Programs, where he led the organization in developing evaluations, and, in 2008, became Executive Director of 826LA. Over the past eight years, Joel has led the organization to more than double the number of students served annually and increase the budget by over 200%. He has provided for this increased capacity by effectively supporting the growth of 826LA’s Board of Directors and staff.
Joel speaks widely on the importance of one-on-one support in education, volunteerism, writing, and “play” in successful student learning, including for the National Writing Project, the Stanford Teacher Education Program, The New York Times Schools for Tomorrow Panel, The GOOD Education Series, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the LA2050 Education Community Meet Up. He also has written about education for The Huffington Post, GOOD, and TakePart.com.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
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