News & Events

Tuesdays at the Triangle

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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 >> 

Elementary School Writers’ Camp

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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

Pitchfork // 826CHI’s Teen Press Corps

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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!

The Word Laboratory

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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!

Community Partners - We Want to Hear from You!

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July 20th—

Are you a school, non-profit, or community organization interested in partnering with 826CHI? We have just the form for you!

We review partnership requests on a quarterly basis. On July 31st, 2015, we will review proposals for programs beginning in October, November, or December 2015. If you fill out this form before July 31st, 2015, you will hear from us in mid-August. We can't wait to hear from you!

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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 drop-in tutoring, after-school 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 his or her individual voice.


826CHI shares its space with The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.—run by the neighborhood's only spy supplyists—which outfits its spy-entele with the latest and greatest in espionagical wares. All funds raised through sales in the store go to support 826CHI's free programming. Visit us in Wicker Park and pick up a fresh grappling hook, carrier pigeon, envelope X-ray spray, hollowed-out can of shaving cream, or weather-resistant notebook, or shop online