826 compendium books on a bookshelf
November 4, 2019

826CHI Distributes Student Publications to 700 Chicago Public Schools

      For the first time in 826CHI history, our student publications have been distributed to Chicago Public Schools. This past September, copies of The 826CHI Compendium, Vol. VI were distributed to 700 elementary and high school libraries throughout the city. The 826CHI Compendium, Vol. VI, an anthology of some of our favorite student writing from the past two years of programming, contains poems and stories on the theme of discovery written by over 100 Chicago students. Featuring a foreword by Chicago Youth Poet Laureate E'mon Lauren and three introductions by 826CHI student writers, this biennial anthology marks our most youth-centered, youth-led publication to date. It's only fitting that this publication will receive our largest audience of young readers to date.

    “An authentic audience is so crucial for students to get excited about writing and to feel like their voices count. When they have the opportunity to share their work with their teachers and classmates in a published book, it can create a positive feedback loop of students reading, writing, and learning from each others' writing practice," said Kara Thorstenson, Director of Libraries and Instructional Technology at Chicago Public Schools. With Thorstenson’s help, 826CHI has finally begun a long sought-after distribution partnership with CPS. 826CHI aims to one day distribute student writing to CPS libraries with each new release of every student publication.

    “We know that Chicago students have the capacity to write with excellence and inspire other students to write,” said Kendra Curry-Khanna, Executive Director of 826CHI. “The goal is to support school libraries, and one of the things we’ve long dreamed of is having our publications serve as mentor texts or making class sets."