The ability to read and to write is a gift that, unfortunately, not all children can claim. This is a plight that 826 National, a nonprofit dedicated to literacy in America, recognizes and works to correct.
826 National is comprised of seven chapters across the United States that offer programs to under-resourced youth to improve their writing skills and foster successful learning habits.
Founders Dave Eggers and Ninive Calegari understood that “great leaps in learning can happen with individualized attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success,” as stated in their mission.
With this in mind, they established 826 National to freely provide students in need with the necessary skills to become successful students and effective communicators in the long run. To achieve their mission, 5,310 active volunteers committed to serve over 30,000 students.
Eggers and Calegari know that success resonates outside of the classroom. They, along with the volunteers, sponsors and teachers, aim to positively impact their students in three main areas: academic gains, social/emotional gains and communication skills development. This strategy is illustrated in the following chart.
The work that 826 National does is beneficial to the students personally and to our communities as a whole. When our students succeed, the door for collective advancement is opened. With effective communication comes productive dialogue and healthy progress.
But 826 National cannot do it alone. With notable sponsors like Time Warner Cable and Amazon.com, along with the generous time and funding donated by individual citizens 826 National is able to offer free writing tutoring and a reliable support system for those who need it most.
As I gear up for graduation and seek a position in a field like copy editing, I rely heavily on my written skills. A life without the ability to express oneself is not a life I would wish on another, and 826 National combats this every day as they encourage students to fulfill their communication potential.
Don’t take your literacy for granted, and give your support to those who seek help. A new generation of effective communicators is an goal we can all benefit from.