For fifteen years, 826CHI has amplified Chicago’s youth voices. We’ve worked with thousands of students and published as many books, and we’ve been fortunate to create lasting partnerships with hundreds of Chicago educators who share our deep commitment to our city’s young people.
With each new school partnership, 826CHI witnesses the tireless work of Chicago teachers as they connect their students with high-quality learning experiences, so that they feel seen, heard, and listened to. We recognize the complexity of Chicago's education landscape. In turn, 826CHI structures our programs with educators, students, and families in mind in order to be a responsive, supportive partner in providing access to educational resources.
826CHI programming is tuition-free. We remove cost as a barrier, because we acknowledge that high-quality arts education can be cost-prohibitive for many schools, families, and students.
We emphasize priority-enrollment at 826CHI, so that students without access to high-quality arts instruction at their schools or in their neighborhoods can write creatively and share their perspectives with the city.
826CHI volunteers ensure that one-on-one attention is available to students while they develop creative writing skills. We know that individualized attention results in positive learning and writing outcomes for students, and that they may not get this support in overcrowded classrooms.
Last year, 826CHI reached more than 3,500 students from 115 schools and published over 150 books. Thanks to our partnerships with Chicago educators, 826CHI publications are housed on the shelves of Chicago's Public Libraries, and most recently, on the shelves of Chicago Public School libraries.
826CHI firmly supports Chicago Public School teachers in their call for equitable education and a district that prioritizes all schools and all students.
826CHI remains open during the strike, and our programs are running for charter schools, families, and community-based partners. We hope that CPS teachers and students will soon return to schools and classrooms fairly resourced for success.
Photo by Ashlee Rezin Garcia for "Chicago Sun-Times."