Young people are just the smartest and weirdest people I know. They’re so creative at this age, and it’s the same time the world is starting to tell them it’s not OK to be weird. When we come in and tell them to be creative you see them light up with a nonstop stream of awesome ideas.

Bryce, Volunteer


Every month we honor an 826CHI volunteer who has gone above the beyond and beyond the above in their dedication to our organization. Read about this month’s Spy of the Month below.

November's Spy

Agent Name


Real Name

Marlen Granados

Congratulations, Spy! How does it feel?:

Wow, this is so amazing! I am so happy to be part of this wonderful team that creates such a welcoming environment. 

How did you first get involved at 826CHI?:

The first time I got involved at 826CHI was through one of my classes. I am a Teaching of English major, and I love the idea of being able to get hands-on with students and helping them expand on their writing/reading skills!

What has been your favorite 826 experience so far?:

Everything! I look forward to every session because it's fun and exciting! On top of that, I get to learn with the students because they bring their own talents to the table. If I were to highlight a session, it would be the flower dissecting project. It was so intriguing and the students were so engaged (I definitely went home that night and told all my relatives about it!)



We have so many talented and enthusiastic writers every day at 826CHI and every month we highlight just one from any of our programs. Read about the current Writer of the Month below.

November's Writer

Agent Name

The Giant Rex

Real Name


What’s your favorite book and who is your favorite author?
¿Cuál es tu libro favorito y quién es tu autor favorito?
My favorite book is Lemons by Melissa Savage. My favorite author is Dav Pilkey, the creator of The Adventures of Captain Underpants.

Do you have any special hobbies or talents?
¿Tienes pasatiempos especiales o talentos?
I’m double-jointed in my hands! My favorite hobby is playing soccer and softball with my family.

What is your favorite thing about writing?
¿Cuál es tu cosa favorita a cerca de la escritura?
I get to be creative, and I really like writing the end of stories.

What’s your favorite memory of 826CHI?
¿Cuál es tu recuerdo favorito de 826CHI?

I really enjoy everyone and being a part of After-school Tutoring & Writing.


Recent Writers of the Month


Alliances are essential to any secret agent’s success. That’s why we honor people and organizations as allies we can trust to make a gift, offer pro-bono services, or otherwise support our students. Read about a current alliance below.

Alliance Spotlight

Ace Hotel Chicago

Ace Hotel Chicago lives in a stoic, industrial building in the West Loop, once home to an Italian-American cheesemaking company. A monument to the city itself, Ace Chicago is honored to throw down roots in the Most Forward-Thinking City there is and to work alongside organizations who have long championed their communities.


Recent Alliance Spotlights

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Partnerships are central to our mission and 826CHI proudly collaborates with organizations serving youth across Chicago. Learn about the impact of a partner for which we are especially grateful.

Partner Spotlight

Chicago Public Library

In the past few years, 826CHI has partnered with the Chicago Public Library to support the ChiTeen Lit Fest. This annual event aims to provide a safe and creative space for young adults to unlock and discover their unique voice through literary arts. ChiTeen Lit Fest seeks to bring together young people from across Chicago and celebrate their talents as they express themselves through exceptional and honest art. Most recently, 826CHI has begun a series of lead-up writing workshops to raise awareness in branches throughout the city for the upcoming fest on April 26-27, 2019. 


Recent Partner Spotlights

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