News & Events

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Middle School Writers’ Camp

August 3rd—

This summer, middle school students at 826CHI transformed our writing lab into a vessel of imaginative exploration. After reviewing the fundamentals of storytelling, they explored exotic locales across the globe in search of the perfect setting for their stories. Their stories are situated in the Amazon, ancient deserts filled with secrets, and places that can only be visited through the pages of our Summer Anthology (publication forthcoming!).

Each day, students took turns reading aloud Coraline by Neil Gaiman, discussing his varied writing techniques, and working to employ similar styles into their own writing. The rest of each session was spent writing and conferencing with volunteers to perfect their pieces of short fiction. All of our students' hard work culminated in a reading and celebration in 826CHI's writing lab with friends, family, volunteers, and community members enthusiastically showing their support.

Stay tuned for the publication of our Summer Anthology, which features our middle school students' work alongside elementary-aged students and Workshop students of all ages!

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Tuesdays at the Triangle

July 29th—

Yesterday evening, as part of the weekly Tuesdays at the Triangle series826CHI's Middle School Writers' Camp students transformed the Polish Triangle into their very own community-wide story slam! They read their works-in-progress to a rapt audience of parents, friends, volunteers, and commuters stuck in traffic. 

Attendees caught a behind-the-scenes glimpse at stories about pet goddesses, tiger-hungry poachers, and a mysterious princess disappearances. Final drafts of these' masterpieces will be available alongside writing from students of our Elementary School Writers' Camp, as well as two volunteer-led Workshops. Stay tuned! 

Photos on our Flickr >> 

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Elementary School Writers’ Camp

July 27th—

This summer, elementary school students at 826CHI explored exotic locales, taking to the page to transform their imaginative observations of lands both known and ne'er-before-discovered.

Each day, students approached our wall-sized world map to determine their story's next setting. They then detailed the sights, sounds, and smells of these new places, focusing on using sensory language to develop their characters, dialogue, and plot.

Students got their creative juices flowing by giggling their way through a variety of theater games, channeling their energy into the creation of stellar exploration and travel-based stories. On the last day of camp, students proudly presented their work to parents, friends, and 826CHI staff—check out the photos on our Flickr

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Pitchfork // 826CHI’s Teen Press Corps

July 25th—

826CHI's elite Teen Press corprs took Pitchfork Music Festival by storm, interviewing artists and preparing reflection pieces of cultural criticism for publication. We are extremely grateful to the wonderful people at Pitchfork Music Festival and Pitch Perfect PR for helping our students gain access to so many talented artists, to the Chicago Reader for lending us their wonderful videographer for the weekend (!), and to the following musicians for making time to speak with our students:

>> Protomartyr
>> Parquet Courts
>> Jimmy Whispers
>> Single Mothers
>> Mourn
>> Kittyhawk
>> Tim Kinsella
>> Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment

Stay tuned for interview footage and transcripts as well as a beautiful zine-full of student writing!

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The Word Laboratory

July 23rd—

Our Word Laboratory program, held yearly at 826CHI, is specifically designed to support young English Language Learners throughout the summertime; helping them avoid the "summer slump" and actively expand their written, oral, and literary English skills. The Word Lab uses visual art as a springboard for this work, first letting students' imaginations run wild, then harnessing their creativity in the form of written reflection.  

This July, students invented aliens, cityscapes, kingdoms, and more using any combination of watercolor, papier-mâché, glitter, marker, and magazine collage.

After crafting to their hearts’ content, students composed writing to accompany their their artwork, which they routinely presented to a group of their peers and volunteers with the aid of 826CHI's esteemed glitter picture frames.

To celebrate the end of the program, we hosted a reading and transformed 826CHI's writing lab into an art gallery—complete with Compliment Cards, which students, volunteers, parents, and friends used to personaly encourage these young artists. 

Photos are on our Flickr!

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