We’re thrilled to let everyone know that just after 8/26 Day, we signed the lease on a new writing and tutoring center: 2,625 square feet of space for tutoring, publishing, and administrative support at 12515 Venice Blvd., in the heart of Mar Vista. Our construction team is hard at work, and we plan to move very soon.
After more than seven amazing years working in the SPARC Building on the Westside, where our first tutoring sessions were held and our first books with public schools were pressed, we’re bidding our cozy second-floor space in the old police station goodbye and preparing a beautiful building near the border of Venice and Mar Vista to work with as many local families as we can. Tutoring begins in our dramatically bigger facility, just 1.6 miles away on a pedestrian-friendly block between Beethoven and Centinela, on October 29. Our programming’s last day in our current space near Venice and Abbot Kinney is October 25.
This move represents a decision on our part to strategize ways to be an even better local organization: we’ll move a little further inland and position ourselves to work with new volunteers, while still remaining connected to the Venice locals who have served us so well since 2005. We’ll have better public transportation access and be a short walk away for many students, both those coming to us from homes and those commuting straight from campuses like Venice High School. And perhaps most importantly, we’ll be able to keep pace with the demand for our programs – which has exploded over the years – by accommodating dozens of additional kids in each program we run, a benefit of having several times the space we enjoyed at SPARC.
Developing a new space at 12515 Venice, renovating it for families to enjoy the same safe and welcoming atmosphere they’ve come to expect from 826, and launching an incredible Mar Vista Time Travel Mart (to meet all your time travel needs on the Westside!) is going to be a big task, and we’re counting on the support of generous friends both old and new. Donations will help ensure that when the paint dries on 826LA in Mar Vista, we leave every family wowed by our commitment to serving the budding writers of Los Angeles. And as we often remind you, there’s never been a better time to get involved with 826LA as a volunteer.
Stay tuned for more exciting developments about the opening of our space, and get ready to see an even bigger and better 826LA. All of us on the staff and board are so pleased to begin the first steps of this journey, and we’re excited to keep you posted.