News & Events

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Chapbook Release Party!

March 23rd—

In our After-School Tutoring & Writing students’ latest chapbook, entitled This Could Go On For Centuries, you’ll get to know donut thieves and shapeshifting mermaids, explore new worlds through magical doors and cavernous trees, and face the most fearsome pirates of the high seas!

Join us Thursday, April 14th from 4:45-6pm for the release party—we can’t wait to welcome you in support of our student-authors!

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“The Monster Gasped, ‘OMG!’” Student Editorial Board

March 21st—

Ten enthusiastic Brentano Elementary students formed a Student Editorial Board to compose the book's opening letter, which will welcome readers of "The Monster Gasped, 'OMG!'" to the boundless imaginations of their fellow 5th graders.

Written collaboratively over the month of February, each student contributed answers to questions like, "What's the easiest/hardest thing about being an author?" and "If you could only tell someone one thing about this book, what would it be?" and "What can a reader expect to see in this book?"

You'll have to wait until June to read the letter in its glimmering entirety, but here's one of our favorite student insights:

"If you don't have an imagination, 'imaginate' that you do and try again ... Don't put this book down so easily because you don't know how hard this was."

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Spring Workshop Registration Closes March 25

March 8th—

Register your student NOW for one of our fantastic Spring Workshops, running from Saturday, April 2nd through Saturday, May 21. Workshop topics—sure to engage, challenge, and inspire young writers—range from social justice and sci-fi to food criticism and graphic novels. Act quickly, though, as space is limited. Deadline is Friday, March 25th— register HERE today >>

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YABP Manuscript Complete!

March 8th—

As of THIS MORNING, the manuscript for "The Monster Gasped, 'OMG!'" is officially FINISHED and in the hands of our book designer, Alban Fisher! HUGE thanks to each pair of eyes that painstakingly copy edited Brentano Elementary 5th graders' monster stories. Dangling modifiers, run-on sentences, shifting tenses, and split infinitives: you got nothin' on these intrepid volunteers.

(S/O to copy editors Matt, Erin, Eric, Willie, Katy, Phil, Fareine, Martii, Lindsey, Alex, Steph, Jac, Kinsley, Abi, Tracy, Amanda, Kortney, and our sponsor, ATT! #826makers #ATTimpact)

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Vol/loquium and VEST

March 7th—

In the past, 826CHI staff and volunteers strongly encouraged students to consider alternatives to violence in their writing, occasionally even steering our youngest writers toward not using it at all. However, a revision of this approach has shifted our mentality from "Ehhh..." to a "Yes! And..." approach that creates a safe space for students to honestly engage with violence if they so choose.

In January, a Vol/loquium (special topic training series for volunteers) brought together staff, interns, and volunteers to explore this new approach and think through strategies for being responsive, responsible writing mentors. The 3-hour session was a huge success, thanks to the 20+ individuals who eagerly engaged and helped generate a list of best practices for working with students in this capacity.

Read all about the session—and some of the resulting outcomes—on our Volunteer Engagement Support Team's blog >>

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