JLW is Excited to Announce Spring Opportunity Grant Recipient – 826DC

The Junior League of Washington is pleased to welcome 826DC as our newest Opportunity Grant Recipient. With the Opportunity Grants, the League makes grants of $1,000 or less to community non-profit organizations demonstrating an unexpected short-term financial need.

826DC, formerly known as Capitol Letters Writing Center, is a nonprofit that was founded in fall 2008, and in late-2009, became affiliated with 826 National, the network of nonprofits co-founded by award-winning author Dave Eggers. The organization is dedicated to working with students ages 6 through 18 in developing their creative and expository writing skills and to working with teachers to inspire their students to write. 826DC believes that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. The organization provide after-school tutoring, in-school programming, evening and weekend writing workshops, help for English language learners, field trips, and student publishing opportunities all free of charge. 

On the first day of after-school tutoring in September, a record 41 students attended. Since then, 100 students have registered, and the organization is at capacity almost every day with 35-40 students. During the 2011-2012 school year, the organization served 2,000 students, an increase of 900 from the previous year, and is projected to serve over 3,000 students this year. This significant and rapid growth means 826DC is quickly outgrowing its space and is in need of more tables and storage space to accommodate the demand for their programs.

During the after-school tutoring program, students are required to read for at least 20 minutes after they finish their homework. Students can choose from the hundreds of books in the library, which are organized according to the Fountas and Pinnell reading level system.

The $1,000 grant from the Junior League of Washington will be used to purchase three additional tables for the center and two additional bookshelves for extra storage. Having more tables will increase the number of small tables available for students and volunteer tutors coming to the after-school tutoring program, allow work in smaller groups, and will also allow 826DC to serve more students overall across its various programs. Additionally, 826DC recently received 250 books through Resolution Read.

The 2012-2013 grant cycle is currently closed. If you would like further information about the 2013-2014 grant cycle, please visit our website or contact Alicia Lee, chair of the Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee at grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org.

Alicia Lee
Chair, Targeted Grants and Volunteer Resources Committee