826 Chapters

826 National was featured in a 2013 report by The Wallace Foundation about afterschool arts programs. The report, Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts, offers insights directly from tweens, teens and their families; teachers and leaders in the arts and youth development; and 10 principles for attracting and retaining an audience often thought hard to engage: low-income urban tweens. The report also includes in-person case studies of eight youth development organizations — The Wallace Foundation's selections of "best in class"— including 826 National. The Wallace Foundation also created a video profile about our After School Tutoring program, which can be viewed here.

826 Boston

826 Boston kicked off its programming in the spring of 2007 by inviting authors Steve Almond, Holly Black, Junot Díaz, and Kelly Link to lead writing workshops at the English High School. The visiting writers challenged students to modernize fairy tales, invent their ideal school, and tell their stories. Since then, 826 Boston has enlisted and trained 2,500 volunteers to provide writing support to more than 16,000 underserved youth from Roxbury, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain.

  • Opened: September 2007
  • Serves: Boston Public and Greater Boston Area School Districts
  • Neighborhood: Egleston Square, Roxbury
  • Satellite: Boston Public Library, John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics & Science, and Jeremiah E. Burke High School
  • Storefront: The Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute
  • Executive Director: Jessica Drench


826CHI opened its writing lab and tutoring center on Chicago’s northwest side in 2005. The setting is both culturally lively and teeming with schools: within one mile, there are fifteen public schools comprising more than 16,000 students. Its storefront, The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co., sells nothing of interest and is certainly not an outlet for spy equipment.

  • Opened: December 2005
  • Serves: Chicago Public School District
  • Neighborhood: Wicker Park
  • Storefront: The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.
  • Executive Director: Kendra Curry-Khanna


826DC and its first storefront, The Museum of Unnatural History, opened in October 2010. In 2015, they moved across the street and opened a new storefront: Tivoli's Astounding Magic Supply Co. The center is based in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city, and serves students all over the District of Columbia. 826DC is projected to serve more than 5,000 students in the 2015-16 school year.

  • Opened: October 2010
  • Serves: D.C. Public Schools and D.C. Public Charter Schools
  • Neighborhood: Columbia Heights
  • Storefront: Tivoli's Astounding Magic Supply Co.
  • Executive Director: Zachary Clark


826LA benefits greatly from the vibrant cultural and artistic communities in the Los Angeles area. Since opening, they’ve provided thousands of hours of free one-on-one writing instruction to under-resourced students. They’ve sent volunteers into schools all over Los Angeles, held summer camps for English language learners, published love poems written from the perspective of leopards, and more. In 2013, they launched their first satellite site at Manual Arts Senior High School to expand their reach to students in South Los Angeles.

  • Opened: March 2005
  • Serves: Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Neighborhoods: Mar Vista and Echo Park
  • Satellite: Manual Arts Senior High School
  • Storefronts: Echo Park Time Travel Mart and Mar Vista Time Travel Mart
  • Executive Director: Joel Arquillos


826michigan opened its doors on June 1, 2005. 826michigan serves the Ann Arbor Public School District, Detroit Public Schools, the Lincoln Consolidated School District, and Ypsilanti Community Schools. They also have a packed workshop schedule on-site every semester, with offerings that range in topic from making pop-up books to writing sonnets to creating screenplays to producing infomercials and more. The Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair store opened in May of 2008.

  • Opened: June 2005
  • Serves: Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Ypsilanti Public School Districts, and Lincoln Consolidated Schools
  • Neighborhoods: Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Ypsilanti
  • Satellite: Beezy's Cafe, Ypsilanti District Library, and Detroit Public Library
  • Storefront: Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair Shop and The Detroit Robot Factory
  • Executive Director: Amanda Uhle


826NYC's writing center opened its doors in Park Slope in September 2004. In the 2013-14 school year, their programs offered over 2,300 students with opportunities to improve their writing and work side-by-side with community volunteers. They also have a satellite tutoring center in Williamsburg, created in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library, which has introduced their programs to an entirely new community of students.

  • Opened: June 2004
  • Serves: New York City Public Schools
  • Neighborhood: East Harlem, Park Slope, and Williamsburg
  • Satellite: MS 7/Global Tech Prep and Williamsburg Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library
  • Storefront: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.
  • Executive Director: Joshua Mandelbaum

826 Valencia

Named after its street address in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, 826 Valencia opened on April 8, 2002 and consists of a writing lab, a street-front student-friendly retail pirate store that partially funds the programs, and three satellite classrooms in nearby elementary, middle, and high schools. Since opening their doors, thousands of volunteers—including college students, published authors, magazine founders, retired educators, documentary filmmakers and other professionals—have donated their time to work with tens of thousands of students. These incredible volunteers allow 826 to offer all of their services for free.

  • Opened: April 2002
  • Serves: San Francisco Unified School District
  • Neighborhood: The Mission District and the Tenderloin
  • Satellites: Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8, Everett Middle School, and Mission High School
  • Storefront: The Pirate Supply Store and King Carl's Emporium
  • Executive Director: Bita Nazarian