826 MSP

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $15,000

Located in Minneapolis. Founded in 2009, 826 MSP empowers underserved K-12 students to think creatively, write effectively, and succeed academically with the help of volunteer coaches. 826 MSP offers 5 free in-school and out-of-school writing programs: after-school writing lab through the school year, storytelling and bookmaking field trips for 2nd-4th grade classes, the Writers’ Room satellite space located at South High School, the annual Young Authors’ Book Project that results in a professionally published anthology, and creative writing workshops on weekends and in the summer.

Grant supports recreating 826 MSP’s successful 4-week environmental and nature-themed writing and literacy summer camp for children ages 6-12 as an online format for Monday-Wednesday, and also adding an excursion to a metro-based location that fits with the week’s theme. The camp includes week-long units on poetry, narratives, writing for performance, and will end with youth creating a project in the genre of their choice. A new aspect of the program is a Literacy Power Hour for 5- to 7-year-olds to prepare younger participants as they age into other programs. Youth who are currently participating in 826’s after-school writing lab will be a priority; the majority of these children are English language learners and primarily Somali.