826LA & Raise $450k with “Tell Me a Story”

Thursday, June 2, was a very special evening for 826LA as we celebrated the second annual Tell Me a Story at the Wiltern Theatre, and eleven years of serving more than 60,000 Los Angeles students.

Thanks to the support of many, including, 826LA raised more than $450,000 to help fund our summer English Language Learner Camp as well as our other free programs for kids! As a result, we will be able to continue serving students for years to come, and for that, we are extremely grateful.


And now, in the spirit of lists, we present to you:

The Amazing Performers Who Graced the Stage

  1. Maria Bello
  2. Catherine Keener
  3. Al Madrigal
  4. Keegan-Michael Key
  5. BJ Novak
  6. Bob Odenkirk
  7. Kristen Schaal
  8. Best Coast


Each reader filled the evening with laughter as they read lists from history as well as their own lives, while Best Coast provided their own acoustic performance. And in case you missed it, never fear; we’ve provided you a list of our very own:

Eight Things That Happened at Tell Me A Story 2016

  1. BJ Novak kicked off the evening with a reading of “Titles For Stories About My Life,” a list written by 826LA student Vincent (age 15).
  2. Two 826LA students, Ivette and Natalie, read “Four Things I’ve Learned at 826LA.” Natalie, 14, is an incoming freshman at Marshall High School, and Ivette, 18, recently graduated from Downtown Magnet High School and will be attending either Woodbury University or Dixie State University in the fall. Both have attended 826LA for over six years now.
  3. Kristen Schaal read the classic “Anti-Flirt Club Rules,” written by Alice Reighly in 1923.
  4. Bob Odenkirk surprised user Aaron Lee when he read, “Advice I Will Give My Daughters Once They Are Teenagers.” (hint: “You are beautiful and capable and worthwhile—regardless of the approval of anyone else”). Aaron published “What It Was Like To Have My Words Read By Bob Odenkirk” on in response.
  5. Catherine Keener brought history to life with “An Enumeration of Northern European Kings of Lore,” a list written by longtime 826LA supporter Sarah Vowell, as well as illustrated by 826LA students.
  6. Highlighting the rejected Punjab Women Protection Bill in Pakistan, Maria Bello read the sardonic responses in “#TryBeatingMeLightly,” by Fahhad Rajper.
  7. After Al Madrigal read “How to Kiss A Boy,” a list by 826LA student Nelia, he wished his wife Krystyn a happy 15th wedding anniversary from the stage.
  8. Keegan-Michael Key closed out the show with “You’ve Got To Dig It To Dig, You Dig?” by Thelonious Monk.

826LA Student Ivette Reading at Tell Me A Story


All in all, it was a highly successful event and we are so grateful to everyone who helped it be so!

826LA would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of Tell Me A Story:, Louis & Carolyn Lucido, Gravillis Inc., Bad Robot Productions, Amy L. Brooks, Henry & Inell Chase, Matthew Cherniss, Carrie Clifford & Paul Boese, Grant & Virginia DeVaul, Terena & Anders Eisner, Jodie Evans, Scott & Jamie Ginsburg, Rebecca & Mattis Goldman, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, DeAnna & Kenny Gravillis, Terri Hernandez Rosales, Claire Hoffman & Ben Goldhirsh, Susan Ko, Krystyn & Al Madrigal, Sylvie & Steve Rabineau, Brad Simpson & Jocelyn Hayes-Simpson, Hollie Stenson, Kira Snyder & Allen Blue, Lindsay Williams, Diane & Dorothy Brooks Foundation, Boulevard Partners, Goldhirsh Foundation, PwC,, WGN America, The Broad Foundation, City National Bank, Color Force, The Gotham Group, HBO, Google, Rebecca McTavish & Jason Woliner, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Thanks also to the following people for making the event extra special: BJ Novak, Nicholas Kraft, &, Jamie Ginsburg & Platine Sweet & Savories, The Brooks Family & Gracie Films, Charissa Gonzales, and JP Karliak.

Stay tuned for some 826LA Journalism student interviews with BJ Novak, Keegan-Michael Key, and Bob Odenkirk, to be found here

Interested in getting involved with 826LA’s English Language Learner Camp this summer? Click here

Photos Courtesy of Fernanda De Sa Schwartz

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