By Molly Grab, 826 Boston Community Engagement Specialist, AmeriCorps

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost everything about the way we live: how we work and study, how we connect with others, and of course, how we volunteer. Most nonprofits — other than life-sustaining organizations like food banks — now have far fewer volunteer opportunities to offer to their communities. But community members are more eager to donate their time than ever. …


By Shannon Slocum, K-8 Publishing and Programs Specialist, AmeriCorps VISTA

For fifty students from the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School, the academic year started with an introduction to a year-long project. Huddled inside the second floor of the Grove Hall Public Library, they learned they would be writing a book.

As many adults know, writing a book is no easy feat; in fact, many have tried and failed or tried and decided to take a break to pursue smaller projects. …


Here at 826 Boston, we’re re-examining how to better serve and support our team and our community, and how to deepen our anti-racism work.

In that spirit, 826 Boston will now honor Juneteenth as an official organizational holiday. Juneteenth will be a day of celebration, education, and action for our staff and service members this year and every year moving forward.

This effort is being led by 826 Boston team member Rashawnda Williams. Rashawnda, the Writers’ Room Coordinator at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester, is an educator, poet, and writer, and she believes that wisdom can be…


Written by Richard Wheelock, Writers’ Room Coordinator at Boston International Newcomers Academy (BINcA)

On the night of May 13, I sat at my computer and watched people enter the Zoom call for Sing Out Strong: DeColonized Voices. As the participant list grew for this collaborative virtual opera performance, I started to see familiar names: coworkers, fellow educators, friends, my mother. I wondered how many others had joined to support their family, peers, or classmates. Who else was looking at that list and smiling at a name they knew? We were scattered across the city, across the world, but here we…


By Jessica Drench, 826 Boston Executive Director

“How in the world does writing help you with science? Well, when you have to inform the public about the current state of the planet, or convince them that climate change is real, scientists need to be able to write just as well as any author.”

Cristian is a senior at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Technology in Roxbury, and he loves to write. Born in El Salvador, he is one of the 4,500 students who will participate in 826 Boston’s academic and creative writing programs.

Today represents an important…


Five years ago, Idil was driving through Roxbury when she saw a sign for free after-school tutoring. Her son had just started first grade, and she wanted to make sure he was getting academic support.

“Kids are like a tree,” she says, sitting in 826 Boston’s writing center as she waits for her son and daughter, now 11 and 8, to finish their session in 826 Boston’s After-School Writing and Tutoring Program. “When you have the tree this small, you don’t want the tree bending like that, you want it to be straight.” …


On any given Tuesday or Thursday morning during the school year, you can find Tim House at 826 Boston. He’s wearing a lab coat emblazoned with the logo of the Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute, the whimsical entry point that students and visitors encounter when they make the trip to 826 Boston’s writing center. That’s where Tim waits, thinking aloud about how he’ll welcome the students when they come in. Never mind that he’s done so countless times in the ten years he’s volunteered at 826 Boston.

“There’s something about the imagination and the freedom of a second- and third-grader…


In a classroom at the E.M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, 50 high school seniors are putting pen to paper, with the help of 826 Boston, to create change with their stories — and we should all listen up.

Kennedy Academy seniors attend their book project’s kickoff panel, which featured activists Abel R. Cano, Shamara Rhodes, Priscilla Dzidzor Azaglo, and Rebecca Riccio.

826 Boston, a nonprofit youth writing and publishing organization, works with Boston students to publish several books of student writing each year. Our books range from a picture book by second graders about marine biology and conservation to a bilingual anthology of high school redesign proposals written by high school seniors.

“From the Little Rock Nine to the March For Our…


And Other Lessons We Learned From 4th Graders

Emma Sunog, 826 Boston K-8 Writers’ Room Associate (Commonwealth Corps), reflects on our recent Inclusion Storytelling Project with the support of Cartoon Network. Fourth-grade students published a book of personal narratives on bullying, kindness, and inclusion.

Proud authors read their stories in their newly published books. Photo courtesy of Leise Jones Photography.

In September 2017, the 826 Boston Writers’ Room at the Boston Teachers Union School (a small K-8 school located in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston) opened its doors. As the “new kids” at the school, my supervisor Isata, the 826 Boston BTU Writers’ Room Coordinator, and I curated our room carefully, selecting books from a diverse range of authors, covering our walls with…


Kamari, age 17, is a senior at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She served on the student editorial board for the book 85 Cents Might Not Sound Like a Lot, which was published by 826 Boston in 2017.

Kamari gave the following speech to an audience of more than 250 participants during 826 Boston’s 2017 fundraiser Books for Breakfast and introduced the keynote speaker, Walter Isaacson, The New York Times best-selling non-fiction author of Leonardo da Vinci.

Kamari presents in front of a captivated (and hungry) audience. Photo courtesy of Gretjen Helene photography.

I learned to stand up for what I believe in from my mom and my aunt. When they were…

826 Boston

826 Boston is a nonprofit writing organization where students can share their stories, amplify their voices, and develop as leaders in school and in life.

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