"826, by design, is a creative space, and the ethos of 826 centers is to encourage creativity. Within 826, there is a 'culture of creativity' driven by a set of norms which infuse daily activity, from the tone set by staff to the way in which tutors work with students to the inventiveness of young people once given the okay to explore.

These norms include: experimentation and risk-taking for student writing; respect for diversity of learning styles; honoring diversity of opinion, race, ethnicity and culture; and experimentation for tutors in working with students on homework and writing."

— Arbor Consulting Partners

The 826 National office facilitates research and evaluation for the 826 network. Our assessments inform future program development, and help us to understand and share the impact of our programs. To gather this data, we evaluate our students, teachers, parents, and volunteers both internally using means such as surveys, and through external means such as outside evaluation.


Students Served at 826 Chapters


Students Served Via 826 Digital


Student Publications


Educators Served


After-School Tutoring Sessions


Active Volunteers


In-School Projects


Field Trips


Writing Workshops Sessions

In our work with our students, and through our signature culture of creativity, we focus on having an impact on three broad domain areas, outlined in detail below: academic gains, social/emotional gains, and communication skills development.

Academic Gains Social & Emotional Gains Communication Gains
Writing Skills
Engagement and motivation in school and schoolwork
Homework (completion/understanding)
Fostering creativity
Increased self-expression
Learning to ask for help
Interacting with adults

they feel an increase in their confidence about writing in one of our core writing programs.

their child receives better grades in school with the help of 826.

that 826 provides a safe place for their students.

Theory of Change
(English & Spanish

After-School Tutoring Evaluation

In October 2013, 826 National contracted Arbor Consulting Partners to conduct a national study on the impact of the 826 network’s after-school tutoring (AST) program on participating students.

Young Authors’ Book Project Evaluation

Beginning in the fall of 2012, Arbor Consulting Partners observed and evaluated one of the network’s hallmark programs, the Young Author’s Book Project. The evaluation was conducted with a group of 826 Boston students out of the Boston International High School.

Independent Reports

Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts

In the fall of 2013, the Wallace Foundation featured 826 National (along with 826NYC and 826 Valencia) as one of eight “exemplary” after-school programs. Contained in their report and research are the ten success principles they outlined as contributing to highly effective programs.

The stories below illuminate narratives of a few inspirational, key players across the 826 network who contribute to our mission in different ways. Written by independent researcher/evaluator, Mindy Fried, PhD, of Arbor Consulting Partners, “826 Stories” share perspectives from teachers, students, volunteers, and staff.


Marisa Urrutia Gedney | EDUCATOR. LEADER. MENTOR.

Marisa Urrutia Gedney’s story highlights how she evolved in her role at 826 to eventually become a Director of Education at 826LA. Marisa reflects on the importance of making an impact on a community you feel deeply connected to, the … Continue reading


In the spring of 2015, seventh and eighth-grade teacher Jenn De Leon partnered with 826 Boston on their Young Authors’ Book Project (YABP). Her involvement with 826 during this project is explored in this story. As an author herself, Jenn … Continue reading


Rashawnda Williams is just one of the many students that came to 826 and blossomed into an empowered writer. She shares about discovering her passion for spoken word, becoming a Youth Writing Ambassador, and the role 826 played in her … Continue reading

Miles Portek | 826NYC Volunteer

826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around our belief that great leaps in learning can … Continue reading