826LA’s Top 10 Accomplishments of 2018

Happy New Year! Celebrate the start of 2019 by reflecting on all that 826LA students, volunteers, and supporters accomplished last year. Here are 826LA’s Top 10 Accomplishments of 2018, in no particular order:

20,040.61 Hours Volunteered: In the 2017-2018 school year, 826LA volunteers donated a total of 20,040.61 hours to helping our students across various programs. We even had a few phenomenal individuals who volunteered 100+ hours each. This amazing group totaled 2,636.69 hours! Read about their experiences here.

The Young Authors’ Book Project: Fifty-five students at Manual Arts High School from Mr. Cris Aviña’s history class published Through the Same Halls: Journeys of Elders Born and Raised in South Central and Beyond. Personal narratives, interviews with elders, and photography (by Star Montana and Las Fotos Project) captured the communities that students call home. Read more about the publication here.

Roosevelt Writers’ Room: Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights is now home to the second 826LA Writers’ Room, which will launch fully in 2019. Students started the 2018 school year with access to a classroom-sized version of an 826LA writing center where they can work with 826LA volunteers to craft personal statement essays for college applications, contribute to an annual Ethnic Studies anthology, and more. Look out for more information on the Roosevelt Writers’ Room in 2019!

The Second Annual Half Half Half Half Half Marathon: The Second Annual Half Half Half Half Half Marathon was a .826-mile fun run with added time travel-y challenges. Volunteers, supporters, family, and friends raced through time and space to fundraise over $49,000. The added literary challenges and poetry reading gave guests an idea of what 826LA is all about! See photos from the event here.

Tell Me a Story: In June, 826LA hosted the fourth annual Tell Me a Story event, Untold Stories of Los Angeles, to help fund 826LA’s free writing programs, including the opening of the Roosevelt High School Writers’ Room. This event raised $600,000—a national 826 record! See photos of the event here.

Critical Role partnership: 826LA supporter Mark Koro challenged fans of the Dungeons & Dragons web show Critical Role (known as “Critters”) to match his donation and fund 826LA’s free programs. Critical Role cast members led a fun, fantastical D&D storytelling workshop in the 826LA writing lab, and the Critters collectively raised $100,000 during the “Critical Role x 826LA: Support the Next Generation of Bards!” campaign.

Personal Statement Weekend: 826LA hosted almost 250 students for the 9th Annual Great Los Angeles Personal Statement Weekend (GLAPSW) at Manual Arts High School (72 more than in 2017!). Students from various Los Angeles high schools received one-on-one help from volunteers to write their personal statements for college applications. Check out the event here.

826LA students get published in major newspapers: Gabriela and Ashla were selected to be delegates of the First Annual International Congress of Youth Voices. They collaborated with other delegates to write a manifesto about their experience as delegates and their plans for the future in social justice, which was published in the Guardian. In October, a ten-year-old 826LA student named Tito wrote a story called “My Scariest Moment” for an assignment in our tutoring program. The piece was published in a special Halloween issue of the New York Times For Kids!

Write On!: The newly named, four-week-long Write On! Summer Camp introduced weekly themes and field trips to places like Nickelodeon Studios, LACMA, and more. Students learned about art, STEAM, and nature—and writing, of course! Thanks to our summer associates for making it possible!

826LA Mar Vista Time Travel Mart Grand Re-Opening: ANIMI duo Kalie Acheson and Charles Latham re-designed the new Victorian-style 826LA Time Travel Mart. Drawing inspiration from classic time travel tales and movies, the newly-backdated shop is filled with novelties ranging from the Wall of Portals to a Poem Booth! See pictures from the Grand Reopening here.  

Thank you to the students, volunteers, educators, and friends that continue to push us forward year after year. Click here to find out more about how you can get involved and raise a voice (or two!) with us in 2019!

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