News & Events

YAB Chapbook Release: A Record in Space

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May 24th—

We’re thrilled to announce the release of our Youth Advisory Board’s (YAB) latest chapbook, “A Record in Space,” which will be unveiled on June 6th. Inspired by the work of Zadie Smith, John Cheever, Tavi Gevinson, Nate Marshall, and Ladan Osman, among others, the teen writers of YAB have crafted original stories exploring everything from nostalgia to war to love to space travel.

826CHI’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is an inspiringly diverse, driven, and literary-minded high school students from all over Chicago. Since the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, our YAB writers have been meeting bi-weekly for sessions that are part writer's workshop, part leadership lab, as well as proudly serving as ambassadors of 826CHI at literary events throughout the city. Join us on June 6th to celebrate their achievements and their writing! RSVP >>

Vol/Loquium: Engaging English Learners

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May 18th—

Word Lab, the summer program for English Language Learners is coming soon and we hope to have a legion of excited and prepared volunteers to work with our students. Not familiar with working with ELL students? Fear not! Program Manager Sarah Kokernot, a former bilingual elementary school teacher, will be leading a volunteer training session specifically on engaging English learners on June 16th from 5:30-6:30 pm. Even if you’ve worked with ELL students before, this is a great refresher and a place to connect with other Word Lab volunteers before the program begins.

After-School Tutoring and Writing Oral History Project

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May 17th—

This spring, After-School Tutoring and Writing students have been studying the art of the interview, inspired by NPR’s StoryCorps. For the past couple weeks, students have been practicing interview techniques and drafting questions for important adults in their lives, asking questions about parents’ childhoods and stories of family members our students never had a chance to meet.

After weeks of drafting their interview scripts and practicing interviewing techniques with their tutors, students begin recording their interviews this week! Last week Maki and Leah practiced asking each other questions using the recorder to get a feel for their voices and the equipment, and they earned recording tips such as how close to hold the microphones to their mouths, and when they should move it towards their interviewees.

When the interviews are complete, the audio will be edited by our intrepid volunteer team and be made available to families in fall 2016. Stay tuned for more updates!

Workshop Registration Notices - Coming Soon

May 17th—

If you've applied for one of our summer Camps or Workshops, you'll hear from us soon! We're currently evaluating all applications and will be in touch via email by Wednesday, May 25th. If you have questions, please email

Prologue: A Literary Cocktail Party—Tickets Avaliable Now!

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May 17th—

The 826CHI Associate Board is hosting its annual cocktail party fundraiser on June 10th with a very special guest: Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s “Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me.”

Sagal will join guests at Parliament (324 W. Chicago) for an evening of signature cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, a funkadelic soul band, and live poetry crafted on typewriters before your very eyes! Guests will also be dazzled by the strange and wonderful stories created by student writers as young as first grade. All proceeds from the event will benefit 826CHI's programming. Get your tickets for Prologue today at >>

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826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

With this in mind, we provide after-school tutoring, weekend workshops, in-schools tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications. All of our programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in their individual voice.


826CHI shares its space with the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co., a store with a not-so-secret mission. Our unique products encourage creative writing, imaginative play, and trigger new adventures for agents of all ages. Every purchase supports 826CHI's free programming, so visit us at 1276 N. Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park or online to pick up spy glasses, fake moustaches, our latest student publications, and much more!