Why We Write

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Jump IN to 826michigan this spring!

Jump IN to creativity, adventure, and delight! This spring, we’re celebrating five years of partnership with the University of Michigan Museum of Art and Ypsilanti Community Schools. Through this partnership, every third-grade student in YCS gets an in-school visit, a field trip to the museum, and a publication of their class’s writing.

Before the field trip, staff and volunteers from 826 and staff and docents from UMMA visit each classroom for a mini-lesson to prepare students for this special experience. The day of the field trip, students get guided tours of the museum. There, they are encouraged to JUMP IN to various works of art, and, using their outrageous imaginations, write pieces about their experiences there. After writing, students wander the museum and see their survival art pieces in real life. While they wander, 826ers compile their pieces and publish them in a beautiful chapbook called Adventuring Through the Art Museum, a collection of their advice for how to survive in various works of art.

For our Spring Fundraising Drive this year, we are inviting you to JUMP IN to 826michigan and support this wonderful partnership. 

An in-school session, a field trip, a publication—behind each of these are hours and hours of staff time planning, scheduling, and working out logistics. The students are bussed to the museum at no cost to the school. There are paper, toner, design, and construction costs for the chapbooks. 

It’s hard to put a monetary number on this experience—for both students, and for the public school teachers who also benefit from it. Ms. Kissel, who teaches third grade at Erickson Elementary, said, “I haven’t seen them this engaged all year,” and one of her students said,  “I don’t ever want to leave this place.”  A teacher from Holmes Elementary said the best part of the field trip was “watching my students’ faces light up when describing their adventures in art.” As with all of our free, high-quality programs, the conversations, the connections, the creativity, and the creating  are the fuel that keeps everything exciting for us. We know that the experiences we facilitate for young people in our community are priceless.

A group of five children stand in an art gallery with an adult. The children have looks of excitement on their faces

We’re a writing organization, but we’ve done the math. By our calculations, each year, providing this experience, completely free of charge, to every third grade student in Ypsilanti costs about $130 per student. 

Here’s where the math gets really fun: this year, 220 students will benefit from this program. Crunch the numbers, and that equals $28,600. (If it’s not obvious to you because you do not see, say, hear, or type the numbers 826 hundreds of times every week, we’ll put a finer point on it: that amount has 826 literally embedded in it!) 

And so! Our goal for our Spring Fundraising Drive is $28,600 so that we can provide this one-of-a-kind experience to 220 more students next year. Can you help us reach this goal by sponsoring a student or two? 

We’ll do the math for you! Sponsor one student: $130. Two students: $260. A whole class: $2,860.

Ready to JUMP IN? Make your donation here.


Read our annual anthology of student writing!

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