Thanks to the generosity of GM, 826CHI got to ride fancy in a 2012 Acadia Denali during the week of Nov 1. We took a visit to the amazing folks at 826michigan (and got to park in the governor's private parking space), plus reaped the benefits of having a vehicle at our fingertips all week, like being able to pick up multiple loads of in-kind donations from a host of in-credibly kind businesses.
We are unbelievably grateful for the generosity of GM and each of the donating businesses, because just think--2068's Pulitzer Prize winner could begin his/her iconic writing career with the swift stroke of a pen from BNP Media on a freshly bound notebook from Staples, whilst sipping hot chocolate in a fancy tumbler from Verizon Wireless and wearing an awesome backpack from Uncle Dan's Trading Post.
On Saturday, November 10, 19 teams of scoundrels gathered in our Scrabbleadium for our annual Scrabble for Cheaters fundraiser. Thanks to their diligent fundraising and willingness to disregard their morals for the afternoon, 826CHI raised more than $8,500 for its programs!
Tournament Winners: Brandon and Bryce Wilner, "Exercises in Tiles"
Veteran after-school tutor Brandon and his twin Bryce won the final round with 560 points, edging out the runnersup (and former three-time Scrabble Champs): "Wreck Tile Function" (Ross Carmichael and Jennifer Moland-Kovash).
Biggest Fundraisers: Kapil Khanna and Theo Hahn, "The Gray Haired Harold and Kumars"
Kapil and long-time after-school tutor Theo's amazing $1,060 fundraising haul gave them a huge advantage. A close second in fundraising prowess were veteran volunteer Aparna Puppala and Meera Raja ("Cowgirls and Indians"), who raked in $885.
Big ups to all those who helped, including interns and volunteer judges, who ensured no unsancitoned cheating occured.
826's holiday will be celebrated this Sunday (8/26)! We're encouraging everyone to write haikus throughout this week to celebrate the big day. But not just any haikus. We're encouraging you and all your friends and dentists and firefighters to write an "8-ku-6" ... that is, a poem where the first line is eight syllables, second line two and the final line six:
An eight ku six poem is made
write three quick lines like this
Each day this week, we'll be providing a theme (WEDNESDAY'S THEME: FAVORITE // MONDAY'S THEME: CHICAGO // TUESDAY'S THEME: FOOD ), but feel free to submit your 8-ku-6 based on anything that inspires you. When you've crafted your piece, please post it on our facebook wall, tweet it at us (@826CHI), email it or stop on by the space and drop it off!
You are also more than welcome to send us an 8-ku-6 that looks something like this:
by donating $16 dollars (8+2+6) right here in order to keep our free programs for students going strong!
Today, 826CHI proudly released our latest book, The Noise Felt Human at the Vittum Theater. This past spring 826CHI encouraged 70 Chicago students making their way through their teenage years to respond to prompts like: "Who are you? What's been the most powerful experience in your life?" They responded with stories that are profound, amusing, sincere and begging to be heard. With a foreword by Luis Alberto Urrea, the pieces explore the power of love, violence, moving, death, and everything in between.
At the afternoon's event, authors read from their publication and three of the greatest teachers in the city revealed their own stories from their youth. We're incredibly proud of the students and excited to share the book with you. Pick up your copy in the Boring Store, today!
Hypothesis: If 826CHI and Project Exploration gather a bunch of incredibly curious students together for a week and, on top of teaching them solid science and writing skills, connect them with journalists and scientists, the students (and instructors) will have an amazing time and write amazing things.
Test the hypothesis: After securing an exceptionally curious group of junior high and high school students, 826CHI and Project Exploration introduced the young writers to the likes of chemist Mike Davis, health reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Monica Eng, investigative reporter and stats wiz, Jeff Lowestein-Kelly from Hoy, and astrophysicist Sean Carroll who just so happened to be at CERN when they announced the discovery of the Higgs boson!
As the students were exposed to the intersection of science and the media, they were challenged to write about science that matters to them. With personal stories weaved into essays full of research, the students presented their compelling essays on everything from the multiple benefits of community gardens to reflections on neuroscience and tolerance.
Conclusion: The hypothesis seems to be confirmed. Cannot wait to retest the results next summer!
Hearing the word "peel" in the context of summer typically summons thoughts of skin's reaction to spending many hours under an unyielding sun. Or perhaps, if thinking more citrusly, the remainders of a fresh squeezed treat. Well, we hear at 826CHI, would like to add one more peel to the summer, an appeal!
As we are currently in the midst of some awesome summer programs here and also gearing up for the Fall, we're reaching out to our 826CHI fans near and far, be you at the beach, in an airplane, at the movies, the big game, the cookout, and/or comfortably, immobolized in front of an air conditioner to ask for your support. Please donate to our summer appeal and keep your eyes ...er .... peeled for a letter coming from us soon!