Because it is not feasible for all students to come to 826LA, we bring trained volunteers into under-resourced public schools at the request of teachers. With a high-level of writing support in their classrooms, teachers can complete projects they never thought possible and reduce the adult-to-student ratio.
826LA collaborates with teachers to craft all projects, which are designed to engage students while targeting the built-in curriculum. 826LA works with teachers on whatever writing their students are doing—persuasive and analytical essays, short stories, autobiographies, poems, plays for stage and screen, and those intimidating college-application essays.
Our current partner schools are all classified as Title I, and they include: The Academic Leadership Community at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, Alain LeRoy Locke College Preparatory Academy, Ánimo Venice Charter High School, Environmental and Social Policy Magnet, Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School, Garfield Senior High School, James A. Foshay Learning Center, Los Angeles School of Global Studies at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, Manual Arts Senior High School, Mark Twain Middle School, Phoenix Continuation High, School for the Visual Arts and Humanities, Susan Miller Dorsey High School, Theodore Roosevelt High School, University High School, and Venice High School.
How can I request 826LA to run an In-Schools project at my school?
As an organization with limited resources, 826LA focuses on partnering with under-resourced schools, teachers, and students in Los Angeles. For our In-Schools program, we define “under-resourced” as schools having a population of 51% or greater students students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch.
If you would like to have 826LA volunteers into your classroom, please fill out an In-Schools Interest Form. Because we are currently at capacity, we cannot honor every request. However, we will respond to all inquiries.
For specific questions about our In-School projects in West and South LA, email Birte Klug.
For specific questions about our In-School projects in Downtown and East LA, email Marisa Urrutia Gedney.
The 826LA Writers’ Room at Manual Arts High School
The Writers’ Room at Manual Arts High School is a creative space that looks much different than your average classroom. On the campus of Manual Arts High School in South LA, the Writers’ Room welcomes students into a comfortable environment where they are explore writing. Since 2013, 826LA has provided college access support as well as help with writing projects in all subjects at Manual Arts High School. Over the past few years, 826LA has doubled the number of students served at the school (more than 700 students in 2016 compared to 318 students in 2014). After 826LA’s first year on campus, former Principal Dr. Whitman said, “As a result of this level of support to seniors, [Manual Arts] increased its college acceptance rate by 10% with 42% of our seniors being accepted to four-year colleges during the 2013-2014 school year.”
Young Authors’ Book Project
Each year, 826LA partners with one Los Angeles public school to create a beautifully composed, impeccably designed collection of student writing. We call this intensive In-Schools project the Young Authors’ Book Project. Over the course of a semester, students research, write, and edit pieces for inclusion in a book with the support of specially trained volunteers. Many of these volunteers are professional writers and editors, who both provide support to students during the writing and editing process and mentor the young artists. Students then forms a self-selected editorial board, making creative decisions about the final publication. The 2015 Young Authors’ Book Project resulted in We Are Alive When We Speak for Justice, a collection of essays which has been highlighted on NPR and in the Los Angeles Times, used as a text in college courses at UCLA and Cal State LA, and is included in teacher training by Teach for America. To read more about it and see inside the book, click here.
What volunteers do in In-Schools
In-School volunteers spend time in middle and high school classrooms throughout the city of Los Angeles. You’ll be responsible for working one-on-one with students on writing projects ranging from personal statements to essays on Catcher in the Rye and personal beliefs, and everything in between. You are there to support students in understanding the writing prompt and to encourage their ideas. It’s a lot of “That’s a really interesting idea, can you tell me more?” and “That’s a great thought; write that sentence down!”