826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around our belief that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. With this in mind we provide drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications. All of our free programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student's power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice.
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826NYC is modeled after 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing lab and tutoring center located in San Francisco's Mission District. Founded by writer Dave Eggers and a group of energetic and passionate volunteers, 826 Valencia opened its doors in April 2002.
826NYC's writing center opened its doors in September 2004. Since then our programs have offered over one thousand students opportunities to improve their writing at our center. Our staff has grown to include 5 employees and over 1,000 volunteers.
826 NATIONAL is essentially an umbrella organization that works toward duplicating the successful 826 Valencia program in youth writing centers across the country. In fact, we are already hard at work. 826NYC (in Park Slope, Brooklyn) opened in September 2004. Currently there are eight 826 chapters across the country, in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Boston, and Washington, DC. Each chapter provides the same amount and caliber of volunteer-based, free services for students that 826 Valencia in San Francisco has successfully developed. We couldn't be more excited.
For more information about 826 NATIONAL's progress please visit the following website: 826national.org.
Joshua Mandelbaum (Executive Director) joined 826NYC in July 2013. He formerly served as executive director of Words without Borders and the advertising director of Poets & Writers Magazine. He was the coeditor and publisher of the now defunct literary magazine Ballyhoo Stories and has published fiction in other now defunct literary magazines. [email: joshua at 826nyc dot org]
Mariama Lockington (Education Director) calls many places home and most recently spent seven years in the Bay Area working in education—four of those years as the Operations Manager for 826 National. Mariama has a Masters in Education from Lesley University, and an MFA in Poetry from San Francisco State University. In addition to her work with youth, Mariama is a published poet and performer. [email: mariama at 826nyc dot org]
Rebecca Darugar (Volunteer and Programs Coordinator) has previously worked for the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, and has taught at AP Randolph High School and Park Slope Collegiate. She has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from USC Rossier School of Education, and knows many of our students from her time teaching in the Park Slope area. Rebecca is responsible for the drop-in program at our Park Slope location, and serves as the main contact for all volunteers and interns. [email: rebecca at 826nyc dot org]
Chris Molnar (Store Manager) started as an intern in 2010 before discovering his calling as a superhero outfitter. In addition to working at the store, he writes fiction, criticism, and poetry. [email: cmolnar at 826nyc dot org]
Chris Roberti (Education) teaches poetry, theater and carpentry to students around the city. He writes and performs sketch comedy and clown. He has also worked at several art museums. Chris has a BA in English and Creative Writing from Muhlenberg College and a Ed.M. in Arts and Education from Harvard. [email: chris at 826nyc dot org]