project leader
Ken Z
1351 Winder Street
(Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Ypsilanti)
latest update rss
No updates yet.

the project

826michigan provides free writing and tutoring programs in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Ypsilanti to more than 3,200 school-aged students inside of their schools, at our own youth writing centers, in local libraries, and at some community centers. Each program is free, high-quality, and gives young people an opportunity to take on leadership roles.

Our big mission is to inspire school-aged students to write with skill and confidence in collaboration with adult volunteers in their communities.

 #826RobotRoundup is our spring fund drive. Throughout the month of May, we're hoping to round up at least 826 donors to help keep our writing and tutoring programs free and open to all students in the communities we serve. Please join us!

what we believe

826michigan believes in writing as:

  • a process of discovery and engagement,

  • an action that connects us to the world,

  • a means to further personal understanding, and

  • a tool to access power and build a better world.

These core values are seen across all of our programs and explain why our writing process stands apart from traditional writing instruction practices.

how we do the work

There are two common refrains heard at 826michigan:

1) Writing is good, hard, important work.

2) Writing is FUN!

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading found that reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. The 2018 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress showed that 55% of third-grade students in Michigan scored below proficient on the English Language Arts Test—which includes a critical writing component.

826michigan's programs are designed to lessen this gap by developing students' skills of self-expression and their sense of self-efficacy. Our project-based support provides students with a safe and creative 'third' space—between home and school—in which students grow their literacy skills, self-confidence, and the ability to express themselves.

We place a high value on structured learning experiences, but innovate upon them by making writing an engaging, interactive process wherein students can think critically and play. It is perfectly normal to see volunteers dressed in costumes as wacky characters during our Strange Mysteries Creative Writing Workshop. It is widely expected that high school students will ask thought-provoking questions while taking notes and photos on their phones as they explore the Eastern Market during our Murals in the Market Zine Making Field Trip. Each afternoon in our writing labs and at the Ypsilanti District Library, students finish their homework alongside caring adults who are invested in students' success.

Notably, we also place a heavy emphasis on amplifying the voices and stories of students across all of our programs through our publishing program which makes students' work widely available in high-quality, professionally-designed, professionally-bound books as often as six times per year.

the steps

With your gift, 826michigan can get to work immediately serving more students in Detroit and across the region.

1) At the end of this campaign, your gift can go right to work supporting the printing of our 2019 Young Authors Book Project, which is currently in its final phase for the school year. This year's program is an academic year long, in-school project focused on one genre of writing—in this case, poetry—across three classrooms of students at University Preparatory Academy in Detroit.

2) Your funds can also immediately work to support our summer programs which will begin the first week of July. This summer's programs will emphasize place-based learning experiences for elementary- and middle-school students who will explore their neighborhoods in Detroit, write personal narratives about what makes their communities special, and culminate in their designing and experiencing immersive tours of the very places they call home. This project, in collaboration with the Detroit Experience Factory, is designed to invest in and celebrate Detroit with the people who make this city great.

3) So much more—you are invited to view our budget page to see where else your gift can make an immediate impact.

why we're doing it

Most organizations dedicated to literacy focus solely on reading. However, peer-reviewed research demonstrates that having confidence in the written language is also fundamental to self-empowerment and future success.

826michigan uses the writing process to connect our students to the world, further their personal understanding, and access the power to build a better world—starting with a single story.

Last year alone, we served thousands of students in Detroit through our four core programs, at absolutely no cost to students, families, or teachers: After-school Tutoring, Field Trips, In-school Projects, and Creative Writing Workshops. With your support, 826michigan can expand our reach and help thousands more brilliant young students write their own paths forward, undefined by circumstance.

You are invited to join us in this important work and make a gift today!


Updated Budget:

This funding will immediately help 826michigan complete our Words On Our Streets summer pilot writing program.

Words on Our Streets (WOOS) is a collaborative program between 826michigan, the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF), and Brilliant Detroit serving upwards of 100 Detroit youth via three two-week long summer camps. Students will engage in 40 hours of high-impact writing instruction and placed-based learning experiences combining 826michigan’s innovative approach to teaching writing with DXF’s authentic, contextual Detroit storytelling experiences. Brilliant Detroit is connecting us with enthusiastic elementary students and flexible classroom locations in several Detroit neighborhoods.

$2,500 is typically what we need to move one leg of this project. The $2,293.97 raised is nearly that amount and can immediately be put to work toward the third and final cohort we will offer from August 5-16 in Detroit. We will use all $2,293.97 to manage costs associated with this partnership.

TOTAL RAISED = $2,401.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $72.03

Original Budget:

$50 Pays for the bare bones supplies for one week at 826michigan: pens and pencils, lots of copier paper, markers, erasers, and staples.

$100 Covers one afternoon of hands-on homework help for dozens of students in 826michigan’s popular after-school tutoring program.

$500 Funds a two-hour workshop session on anything from writing comic books to college-entrance essays. Class sizes are small and each student receives individual attention on their work.

$1,000 Allows an entire second grade class to experience our signature Storytelling & Bookmaking field trip. Here students are given a unique learning experience that is both rigorous and fun, collectively writing a story and experiencing the elements of storytelling first hand. Each student returns to school with their very own unique book.

$2,500 Covers the cost of one summer partnership in which 826michigan interns develop and teach original creative writing curriculum to students in need through summer camps and other programs.

$10,000 Funds our annual signature book project in an under-resourced public school, including everything from training the volunteers to enter the classrooms to copyediting, designing, and printing a hardcover book of the students’ original writing, released to the public at the end of the school year.

PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED =$25,000ioby Platform Fee$35ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)$774TOTAL TO RAISE =$25,809



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