826CHI, Inc. NFP

826CHI is a non-profit writing tutoring and publishing center dedicated to amplifying the voices of Chicago youth.

aka 826CHI   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.826chi.org

Mission

826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with individualized attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. 826CHI is dedicated to amplifying the voices of Chicago youth. We encourage the exploration of endless possibility through the power of writing for students, for teachers, and for communities.

Notes from the nonprofit

826CHI's tuition-free programs are prioritized for students and communities most impacted by systemic disinvestment in high-quality arts and literacy education. We prioritize students who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQIA+, English Language Learners, neurodiverse learners as well as neighborhoods and schools that do not have a selective enrollment program and community-based organizations.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director

Jennifer Steele

Main address

1276 N. Milwaukee Avenue

Chicago, IL 60622 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

30-0248920

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Youth Centers, Clubs, (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose (O20)

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 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over 24,000 Chicago Public Schools students receive little to no arts instruction and we believe all Chicago youth should have equal access to high-quality writing and literary arts education. We prioritize our tuition-free programs for students and communities most impacted by systemic disinvestment in high-quality arts and literacy education. We prioritize students who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQIA+, English Language Learners, neurodiverse learners as well as neighborhoods and schools that do not have a selective enrollment program and community-based organizations.

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 Tutoring & Writing

Our After-School Writing Lab meets four days a week in person at our Wicker Park location and focuses on building writing exposure and confidence for our young writers. Our supportive volunteers and facilitators provide individualized assistance with writing skills and literacy enrichment to 1st through 8th graders. Students also sharpen their writing skills with guided reading and creative writing activities, and have their writing published in a bilingual chapbook, which is then available through the Secret Agent Supply Store.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

For three days a week, 826CHI invites teachers to bring their students to our site for high-energy field trips. Field Trips are hosted during the week at our Wicker Park location and are offered to Chicago Public School classes in grades 1 through 12. Each Field Trip opportunity focuses on a variety of writing skills and experiences, with each trip designed to be project-based, collaborative, playful, empowering, imaginative, and to encourage students to share their ideas in their own unique voices. Examples of current Field Trip offerings include ‘Mission Poetry’ (Grades 1-4), which involves writing emotion-centered poems to build skills in empathy and self-awareness, and ‘Chi-Town Stand Up’ (Grades 8-12), which involves reflective writing activities to build deeper and more authentic connections with their city.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Every year, 826CHI develops a thematic in-school partnership with one or more teachers and their classrooms to collaborate on a Young Authors Book Project and other publishing projects. Led by experienced staff with the support of 826CHI’s trained volunteer cohort, this year-long project engages students in the experience of writing, editing, and designing a professional publication of their work. At the culmination of the project, student-authors, the school community, and the whole 826CHI community celebrate the YABP release. Following the release, copies are distributed for sale in nine independent bookstores and for loan at each of Chicago’s 77 Public Library branches, as well as the Secret Agent Supply Store.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Our Community Workshops take place year-round in partnership with multiple community-based organizations and are led by members of our cohort of Teaching Artists. We partner with nearly two dozen organizations to bring students interdisciplinary writing-based programs. Examples include ‘Book as Body’ (Grades 1-12), where students read and write poetry and short stories that discuss the body and ‘Poets in Revolt!’ (Grades 8-12), where poems from the civil rights movement to the labor movement to third wave feminism are examined and explored.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Teen Writers Studio is a space for rising writers (9th-12th graders) and leaders to meet, write, and work collaboratively. Sessions are designed around writing and editing skills along with social time, where the students are divided into two different cohorts. The Teaching Artist cohort meets monthly to learn skills towards facilitating writing workshops, the basic tenants of arts education, as well as teaching philosophies. The Communications/Publications cohort meets monthly to learn from writing industry professionals about the book publishing process, putting on literary events, and the overall literary landscape.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

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 demonstrate writing ability

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

826CHI serves thousands of students in building their creative and expository writing skills and confidence. We measure the number of students reached annually.

Number of students who demonstrate improved overall literacy

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

826CHI measures if students feel that they have learned new things about writing through our programs and if what they've learned can be used for other writing assignments.

Percentage of teachers who feel they have new ideas on how to approach writing in the classroom.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of teachers trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Teachers in America receive little to no training or education on writing instruction. 86CHI is committed to supporting teachers in building their confidence in teaching writing in the classroom.

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.

826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. 826 National’s report, The Truth About Writing Education in America, found that 3 out of 4 12th graders are not writing at grade level proficiency, with broad disparities by race/ethnicity, gender, and school location, and 9 out of 10 Black and Latinx students are not writing at grade level proficiency. It revealed that teachers receive little to no education or professional development in the practice of writing — and lack confidence in their ability to teach writing, especially creative writing, making them less likely to teach it to their students. 826CHI supports students in developing confidence and skills in their writing practice and expression and teachers in fostering a love and culture of writing for themselves and their classrooms.

We offer tuition-free individualized tutoring, creative writing workshops, and school field trips to over 2,000 Chicago students and 100 teachers each year. Every student enters as a storyteller and leaves our space a published author. We distribute our students' publications in independent bookstores and public libraries throughout the city to amplify the voices of Chicago youth.

Financials

826CHI, Inc. NFP
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.

826CHI, Inc. NFP

Board of directors
as of 06/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Monique Demery


Board co-chair

Kevin Johnson

Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

Chicago Tribune

Josh Gantz

Ambulatory Management Services

Kevin Boehm

BOKA Restaurant Group

Megan Zarnoch

QBE Insurance

Billy Jones

Hootsuite

Teddy Kuhn

Chicago Public Schools

Kara Wright

Veronica Robinson

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/31/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/31/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.