“Reading and writing should be a right, not a privilege.”

— Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author

The Truth About Writing Education in America: Let’s Write, Make Things Right

Executive Summary (PDF)
Full Report (PDF)

Equal access to quality writing education has been a longstanding challenge in the United States and not enough has been done to move the field forward in recent years. In this report, we at 826 National aim to bring writing education to the forefront of public, policy, and funding conversations by examining its current state and issuing a call to action to the field. In the summer and fall of 2020, we interviewed 19 writing education experts, including authors, researchers, and educators, about the current state of writing education in the United States. We distill their reflections on the benefits, challenges, and inequities of writing education, and then draw on those reflections to outline recommendations for the field.

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.

Creating a Community Writing Center

In 2020-2021, Catherine Calabro Cavin from 826michigan partnered with YpsiWrites, a collaborative community writing center, to survey other local education non-profits, families, students, and library patrons to assess interests and best approaches for providing writing support community-wide. Based on their findings, they then began piloting different kinds of writing programming for a range of age groups, which is briefly described in the report.

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.