Thanks to $350 in donations provided through GlobalGiving, 826DC is well underway toward achieving the goals described in our project plan. This fall, 826DC hosted a number of field trips, held writing workshops, and provided drop-in tutoring and writing help. With the help of a dedicated group of interns and volunteers, we were able to keep students engaged and excited throughout the first few months of the school year.
This fall started off strongly when a record 41 students attended the first day of after-school tutoring. We currently have 100 students registered and are consistently at capacity with an average of 35 students coming to after-school tutoring four days a week.
Reading All Stars, our Saturday one-on-one reading program at Tubman Elementary School, is currently serving 60 students. Each week, students read with their tutors and receive help with reading and writing skills.
Since September, we have hosted 20 Storytelling & Bookmaking field trips for 356 students from seven different schools (Tubman ES, SEED PCS, Oyster-Adams Bilingual School, DC Bilingual PCS, Washington Yu-Ying PCS, and Center City PCS). During our field trips, a class of students comes to our center to write their own book together in two hours with the aid of our talented volunteers. Each student writes his or her own ending to the story and takes home a copy of the finished product. This December, we also hosted our first Storytelling & Bookmaking field trip in Spanish with a class from Oyster-Adams Bilingual School.
Our in-school sessions have also been in high demand. This fall, we have been working with three different 5th grade classes at Aiton, Miner, and Thomson elementary schools that are participating in the Embassy Adoption Program. The classes will contribute articles to a newsletter about the experience of partnering with the Embassies of Japan, Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia. We also provided two second grade classes at Oyster-Adams Bilingual School with a six-week series of creative writing lessons in partnership with two service-learning classes from the George Washington University. The college students worked with the second graders one-on-one and published their work on a blog (http://826dc.org/?p=4145).
Our in-school programs have not been limited to elementary school students. This fall, we have been working with sophomores and juniors in the Simon Scholars program at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School – Parkside Campus on essay writing skills. We also provided 60 students with an in-school college application personal statement writing workshop at Cardozo High School and Duke Ellington School for the Arts.
In addition, we launched our flagship program, the Young Authors’ Book Project. We are working with two English classes at Wilson HS, the poetry club at Ballou HS, and a journalism class at Duke Ellington School for the Arts. In November, the participating students at Wilson HS wrote novels for National Novel Writing Month that are currently being reviewed and edited by our volunteers. Excerpts from these novels will be published in our fifth Young Authors’ Book Project anthology in the spring. We will be starting our work with Ballou and Duke Ellington in January. Students from the Ballou poetry club will be contributing poetry, as well as a podcast of student performances and interviews with local poets, and the students from Duke Ellington will contribute nonfiction essays to the anthology.
Overall, we are on track to serve more than 3,000 students this school year through our various programs. We look forward to what will surely be a busy spring!
In the coming months, we will continue our aggressive fundraising strategy. We have a number of smaller fundraising events planned for the spring and are confident that we can continue to break fundraising records.