News & Events

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#BlackLivesMatter: Statement of Solidarity

December 4th—

826CHI is proud to be part of a community that works to empower youth across the city of Chicago.

We—along with 180+ local educators, artists, and organizations—have issued a statement of solidarity with the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ movement: "We acknowledge our collective power as educators and artists to transform lives and vow to seize this present historical moment to stand in solidarity with youth and activists in our city fighting for true justice, racial consciousness, and community transformation."

An enormous thank you to those who have declared their commitment to this cause, and to the Chicago Reader for amplifying the signal of this crucial dialogue. CLICK HERE to read more. 

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Week 3: Brentano Elementary Book Project

December 3rd—

The third week of our Young Authors Book Project (YABP) with the 5th graders of Brentano Math and Science Academy saw us exploring falling action and resolution, so we can push through to the conclusions of our stories. Then (and only then!), will we begin the arduous (but exciting and rewarding!) editing process, which ensures that our monster stories are in tip-top shape for publication.

To kick things off, volunteers guided students in small group discussions about their Scene-O-Matics (patent pending), allowing students to explain what they thought their climaxes were and how they might want to represent their falling actions. One student, in true They Live fashion, had his monster and his other main character get into a giant fight in a mad scientist’s lab before they both realize they should be smashing up the evil scientist's machines. They then join forces to bust up that nerd's devices so he can't do evil experiments anymore (R.I.P. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. We miss you more every day).

After that, we came back together as a class to discuss what came into our heads when we thought about the words “falling action” and “conclusion.” Our answers ran the gamut from “an ending has credits,” to “it contains the words ‘happily ever after.’” We explored the ideas of cliffhanger endings, epilogues, and sad endings—and made specific note to discuss that, though cliffhangers and epilogues are fun once in awhile, a story is a lot like a roller coaster: No matter how fun it is, eventually you’re going to want to get off. If you just keep going around and around and around, you’ll get really sick and your mom will have to take you home before you eat your fill of cotton candy.

Finally, we gave our young writers the remainder of class to forge ahead in their stories. One student informed volunteers, “For my resolution, I'm going to just say it's three years later so I don't need to explain how anything gets resolved,” which volunteers had to concede was pretty clever, if not entirely in the spirit of the lesson.

Next week, to kick off our month of editing, volunteers will distribute magical post-it notes, so students can practice adding dialogue into their stories without having to cross anything out, thereby solidifying the colloquial understanding that post-its are magic.

Excerpts From The Student Bestiary:
>> Lilly’s monster: Abigail, a ghost who lives in a graveyard with a bunch of other ghosts who always want to PARTY on Halloween. Abigail doesn’t want to party though—she wants to read books on her tablet and find a friend.

>> Maurice’s monster: Simpix, a lion cub with special powers, who goes to a school for metahumans (humans with special powers) and saves a child from falling in a volcano following a screening of the smash hit film Hotel Transylvania 2.

Want to learn more about this project? Click back through old News Stories to see what's up!

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Chapbook Release Celebration

December 2nd—

Mark your calendars for next Thursday, December 10th—from 5-7pm, we'll be celebrating the release of Swimming Among the Stars / Nandando por las estrellas, the latest compliation of work from our After-School Tutoring & Writing students.

This book includes stories recounting roadtrips and heralding a mother's famous chocolate chip cookie recipe ("the blueberry muffins of dinner"), as well as epic tales of kitten overlords and odes to pets of the past. Students also wrote along the theme of "togetherness," in the spirit of poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrerra's "La Familia" project.

And, for the second time in 826CHI history, this book will be published in both English and Spanish. More than 85% of our ASTW students are English language learners, and now they'll be able to share their marvelous creative work with family and friends in their native language! Our students also researched bilingualism as an intelligence tool—being bilingual is pretty awesome, and gives you a boost both academically and creatively.

RSVP here, and don't forget to bring some food to share!

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Join the 826CHI Mission this #GivingTuesday

December 1st—

Every dollar allows 826CHI to help amplify young voices, from page to publication. Join the Mission this #GivingTuesday, and CLICK HERE to read about the impact your support has had on one student, Yachun L.

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Winter 2016 Program Deadlines & Start Dates

December 1st—

Please note: 826CHI's fall programming ends Friday, December 11th, 2015. Our offices will be closed from Thursday, December 24th until Monday, January 4th, 2016.

Come January, we have a schedule chock-full of tuition-free programming ready for Chicago students. Registration deadlines and start dates are as follows:

Winter/spring Internship
The deadline for winter/spring internships at 826CHI was Friday, November 27th.
The winter/spring internship begins Tuesday, January 12th, 2016.
Apply for a summer internship by Friday, April 29th, 2016.

Weekend Workshops
Registration will be open online from Tuesday, January 5th until Friday, January 22nd. By Monday, January 25th, all parents will be notified of their child's enrollment status.
Winter Workshops begin Saturday, February 6th, 2016.

After-School Tutoring & Writing
Registration is full for the 2015-2016 school year.
Tutoring resumes Monday, January 18th, 2016.

Field Trips
Registration is full for the 2015-2016 school year.
Field Trips resume Wednesday, January 13th, 2016.

In-Schools and Community Partnerships
For partnerships beginning in March, April, or May 2016, submit your proposal by Thursday, December 31st, 2015. CLICK HERE to access the request form.
In-Schools resume Monday, January 18th, 2016.

Youth Advisory Board
Registration is full for the 2015-2016 school year.
YAB resumes Monday, January 11th, 2016.

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