826DC INC.

Writing, Editing, Publishing

aka 826DC   |   Washington, DC   |  www.826DC.org

Mission

826DC (formerly Capitol Letters Writing Center) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with students aged six through 18 in developing their creative and expository writing skills and to working with teachers to inspire their students to write. With this in mind, we provide after-school tutoring, in-school programming, workshops, field trips, and student publishing opportunities, all free of charge. All of our programs are structured around our understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Ruling year info

2008

Principal Officer

Mr. Zachary Clark

Main address

3333 14th Street, NW Suite M-120

Washington, DC 20010 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Capitol Letters Writing Center

EIN

26-2426166

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Results from DC's 2016 standardized PARCC tests showed 82% of economically disadvantaged students did not meet expectations on the English Language Arts test in comparison to 73% across DC schools; this indicates that many of the city's most vulnerable students are experiencing academic crisis in the language arts. Access to quality artistic writing and one-on-one mentoring works to level the academic playing field. With DC schools unable to provide consistent one-on-one support, the task of providing this critical resource through arts education falls increasingly on the shoulders of organizations like 826DC.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

After-School Writing Lab

Mondays through Thursdays can be rough thanks to all the homework that comes with the daily academic grind. From 3:30-6:00pm, though…POOF! The work gets done during our two-hour Monday-Thursday volunteer-supported homework help sessions, complete with a half hour of creative writing.

Population(s) Served

While every aspect of our programming promotes student voices, no program does so quite like our flagship publishing program: the Young Authors’ Book Project. YABP includes students in every aspect of writing, editing, and publishing from the rough pages of drafting to the polished pages of a professionally published product. Past partners have included Capital City Public Charter School and DC’s 2016 Teacher of the Year Topher Kandik of the SEED School of Washington.

Population(s) Served

826DC offers support to teachers in the K-12 classroom though this program, one of our most flexible and teacher-driven. Teachers can choose a curriculum delivery model or for 826DC small group/one-on-one support. In-Schools can range from one class period to multi-week sessions.

Population(s) Served

In these two-hour, action-packed, teamwork-centered, Common-Core-ticking, publishing-focused writing sessions, DC-based students and teachers participate in the writing process from brainstorming to holding a freshly bound book.

Population(s) Served

Know a young writer just bursting with ideas? Want to give the reluctant reader a way into new worlds? Join us for any one of our wonderful Saturday or Evening Writing Workshops where, in two hours, young writers will explore a new topic and leave with a piece of writing of which they can be proud.

Population(s) Served

826DC’s Saturday literacy program, Reading All-Stars, provides DC Public School students with individualized, one-on-one literacy mentorship and enrichment at their school. Volunteer mentors and students build writing and reading skills together, as well as a deeper love for the written word, all while working closely with school administrators and teachers to reinforce and build on classroom learning. Plus, the kids get lots of stickers!

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Arts Education 2014

DC Mayor's Arts Awards

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students who feel their program structure provides opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary work

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

In-School Programming

Number of students educated through field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Field Trips

Number of students who demonstrate writing ability

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Evening & Weekend Workshops

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Through a strong relationship with DC public and charter schools, 826DC provides multi-session residencies and programs which provide students with the opportunity to write, illustrate, edit, and publish anthologies of their work. We have enjoyed active partnerships with 72 schools, recreation centers, public libraries, and housing authorities to provide quality programming to a wide-range of students.

Our programs almost always end with a finished product, such as a newspaper, a book, or a film. This project-based teaching model encourages students to collaborate and to make creative decisions, affording them ownership throughout the learning process. Our work is centered on the following programs:

· After-School Writing Lab runs four days per week from 3:30pm to 6:00pm. Staff and trained volunteers provide one-on-one homework help (on any subject and skill level) and work on their creative and expository writing skills through three hours of dedicated writing support every week (45 minutes per day for a total of three hours weekly). AWL semesters culminate in a publication of student work, which is shared at chapbook release parties.

· Field Trips provide teachers the opportunity to bring students to our center for two hours of creating, illustrating, and publishing a collaborative story. Trained volunteers lead each class through the fundamentals of story development (including character, setting, conflict, and resolution) while local artists illustrate the stories in real-time. Each student leaves with his or her own original published book produced in our on-site bookbinding facility.

· In-School Writing, Editing, and Publishing programs allow our cadre of devoted tutors and teaching artists to assist and support teachers in the classroom. In-School sessions can vary from two class sessions to year-long residencies and are designed in collaboration with classroom educators. Projects range from creative writing, poetry, and personal narrative to expository and persuasive writing.

· Workshops, designed and led by volunteer teaching artists (published authors, educators, playwrights, etc.) during evenings, on weekends, and throughout the summer, cover a wide range of literacy topics including music writing, poetry, and personal essays.

· Reading All-Stars is a Saturday reading program at Harriet Tubman Elementary. Following 2 hours of reading, students complete a writing exercise to foster increased reading comprehension skills. Students are paired one-to-one with a reading mentor.

· The Young Authors' Book Project is 826DC's flagship publishing program. Students are involved in every step of the process - from writing pieces and sitting on an editorial board, to making critical decisions about the design and layout. Writing mentors work with our students to revise, edit, and polish their writing for the final publication, while 826DC staff and volunteers provide one-on-one mentoring and weekly writing workshops.

In the next 1-5 years, we will focus on program quality versus numbers served. Over the first year, we will pass revised program outcomes that will drive our approach for the next year and shape not only our evaluation approach, but our strategy for program development as well. At year 3, we hope to have piloted a unique evaluation strategy that will offer insights into the impact of our programs. At year 5, we will have a fully-implemented assessment strategy that will be used across programs and at sites throughout the city. Our on-site Writing Center will be used to facilitate programming, leverage revenue through space rental, and act as a community meeting space for literary-minded citizens and activists in the local community.

Current Evaluation Methods
826 National's Research and Evaluation team previously led the effort to develop a standard Theory of Change for all seven 826 chapters. The resulting logic model indicates seven academic and youth development outcomes on which our programs focus:
● Increased performance on language arts assignments
● Increased performance on writing assignments
● Increased homework completion and understanding
● Increased readiness for new lessons in school
● Improved self-confidence in academic performance
● Increased self-efficacy
● Improved ability to express oneself

Future Improvements in Evaluation
In order to increase our impact on students across the District--articulated in our FY17-FY19 strategic plan--we are committed to developing a more accurate and iterative strategy for evaluating our educational aims. By the conclusion of 2016-2017, under the direction of board member David Wakelyn (former Deputy Secretary of Education for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo) we plan to develop an original assessment tool that will evaluate the access and effectiveness of our arts education curriculum and make necessary improvements.

After an extensive period of evaluation and strategy planning, 826DC has identified its own four key strategic goals to guide the organization over the next three years and build on the success accomplished in the prior years. The goals clearly outline 826DC's strategy to move students from literary exposure to literacy fluency. Those four goals include:
● Fundamental Writing Skill Development
● Publication and Exposition
● Divergent and Solution-Orientated Thinking
● Strategy Skill Building

In addition to reaching more than 4,000 students and growing from a staff of one to a staff of eight in two short years, 826DC has proven its resonance to DC schools, families, and students as a bridge to professional literary opportunities. Notable recent highlights include:

In partnership with Reach Higher, First Lady Michelle Obama's college access initiative, 826DC led a college essay-writing workshop at the White House in November 2016 for 50 local high school students, paired one to one with trained mentors that included acclaimed author Dave Eggers and local author and editor Amy Pastan. Students emerged from the three-hour workshop with personal narrative drafts used as the basis for their college application essays. 826DC called on community partners such as Youth Organizations United to Rise and SEED School of DC to join in the successful workshop, reaffirming 826DC's role as a central connector to both local and national organizations.

In 2015, 826DC hosted its Young Authors' Book Project release party at the Vice President's residence in partnership with Dr. Jill Biden. Long Lost, authored by students at Seed School of DC, spans writing genres and is guided by master writers ranging from Sherman Alexie, Zadie Smith, and Alice Walker. The book, designed by professional graphic designer Oliver Munday and featuring original illustrations by students at Seed School, celebrates the talent of DC's native young authors.

826DC has been recognized as a local non-profit of distinction over the past few years, receiving the 2014 Mayor's Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education and being selected as one of the best small charities in the DC region by The Catalogue for Philanthropy in 2016. 826DC works to amplify the voices of DC youth through these opportunities, which extend to the national stage as well. A recent feature on CBS News enables 826DC to share broadly the perspectives of DC students. 826DC is committed to leveraging opportunities such as these to amplify the stories of local students.

In 2016, 826DC published three books, including its first-ever compendium of the best student work over its first five years, You Will Be Able To Say A Thousand Words. The collection was its most ambitious publication to date, serving as a celebration of the talent of young authors in the District.

826DC staff is especially proud of our outreach and partnership building this year, an important part of the first year of our strategic plan. Earlier this school year, 826DC hosted a College Essay workshop at the White House. We've doubled the size of our Teen Writing Lab, and officially launched a formal Community Partner Program with Latin American Youth Center, Vine Corps, Horton's Kids, and Anacostia Community Museum.

We've also increased dosage across all programs through the following efforts:
---more than tripled the number of dosage hours for AST students
---improved cross-enrollment across programs
---eliminating one-session Workshops and moving to a multi-session model
---a publication for spring 2017 that includes two schools in dialogue with one another: Bruce Monroe at Park View Elementary and SEED Public Charter School
---published our first five-year compendium.

Since its inception, 826DC measures its success according to key learning outcomes, including increased performance on language arts assignments, an increased sense of support by 826 for teachers, and the cultivation of confidence that derives from a meaningful literary arts education. 826DC staff administers a pre- and post-survey each year, created especially for our publishing students, to determine growth in several factors (resiliency, confidence, creative expression). Some of the results of our most recent data are listed below:
94.44% of students reported that they were good at reading (up from 73.58% in the pre-program survey)
94.74% of students were proud of their writing
94.44% of students were proud of the grades they received at school 91.67% feel confident about finishing homework assignments
94.12% of parents report that teachers noticed improved classroom conduct

In alignment with its recently-passed strategic plan, 826DC is currently researching and developing its own evaluation and assessment tool, designed to better gauge student learning progress for local residents in DC. In this process, 826DC has identified four key strategic outcomes designed to evaluate the impact of its programs on students' literacy. They include:
Fundamental Writing Skill Development
Publication and Exposition
Divergent and Solution-Orientated Thinking
Strategy Skill Building

In the next three years, our staff and Board will focus on program quality versus numbers served. Over the first year, we have developed and approved revised program outcomes that will drive our approach for the coming years year and shape not only our evaluation approach, but our strategy for program development as well. 826DC has received a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to move into the second phase of its assessment project in the upcoming year.

Financials

826DC INC.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

826DC INC.

Board of directors
as of 6/27/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Howard Yoon

RossYoon Literary Agency


Board co-chair

Ms. Joyce Cowan

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Howard Yoon

RossYoon Literary Agency

Joyce Cowan

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Tom Viehe

EDM Strategies

Amy Pastan

Writer/Journalist

Taryn Fielder

Washington REIT

JC Fulse

AIG

David Pryor

Microsoft

Amy Tejral

Avenue Solutions

Jenna Howard

Lockton Companies

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes