Summer Programs at 826michigan

Free summer programs at 826michigan are a great way to keep students engaged with creative thought and encourage discovery and growth all summer long!

Summer 2024 Program Schedule!

This summer, we’re offering Drop-in Writing for Wee-bots on Saturdays in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, and our “See to Be” Summer Workshops series in Detroit and Ypsilanti.

To find out more about Drop-in Writing for Wee-bots, click here.

To find out more about our “See to Be” Summer Workshops series, see below.

All workshops are for ages 8-12 and take place at the Ypsilanti District Library’s Superior Branch.

This Should Be an Olympic Sport!

Ages 8-12

Monday, August 5
4:30-6:00 p.m.
YDL Superior

What *should* be considered an Olympic sport, but isn’t? In this workshop, we’ll consider everyday activities that deserve a spot on the world’s largest competitive stage, like carrying all of your grocery bags inside in just one trip, or recognizing any song on the radio in under 5 seconds. Students will use writing to imagine new Olympic sports, from the silly to the serious, and use writing to create an imagined news report for this year’s big competition. Go team!

Hero’s Journey (to the Olympics)

Ages 8-12

Saturday, August 10
2-3:30 p.m.
YDL Superior

The hero’s journey is a common storytelling format where the main character goes through a series of challenges to achieve success and learn more about who they are. The Olympic Games are filled with athletes whose life stories are filled with triumph over setbacks, both in their sport and also personally. In this workshop, students will use the hero’s journey template to craft their own Olympic triumph stories, from the silly (the tale of a frog preparing for Pond Olympics) to the serious (students imagining their own personal journey to the Olympics and writing about their present and future).

Dear Younger Me

Ages 8-12

Thursday, August 22
5-6:30 p.m.
YDL Superior

As we prepare to head back to school, lots of kids will be going to elementary school for the first time as Kindergarteners or first-graders. As experienced elementary school students, we want to hear your advice for younger kids! In this workshop, we’ll create back-to-school picture books with advice for younger students who are starting elementary school. Each workshop participant will get to create their own book with writing and pictures that they can take home to read with younger siblings, cousins, and friends and share their wisdom through a friendly story!

All workshops are for 9-18-year-olds and take place at Belle Isle Aquarium, the Detroit Institute of Arts, or the Scarab Club!

Writing Like an Architect

Ages 9-18

Tuesday, July 9
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Belle Isle Aquarium

Learn how Albert Kahn designed one of America’s most unique homages to aquatic life, the Belle Isle Aquarium! Learn how to design your own museum by completing a “blue prints” notebook, filled with your drawings, and writing exercises that will help you describe what you envision, and how you can persuade others to love your favorite subjects, too!

Bees of the Seas (Pollination Station)

Ages 9-18

Tuesday, July 16
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Belle Isle Aquarium

Join 826michigan and discover the amazing world of pollinators! You might think that the Bee is the only insect out there doing all the work, but we’re here to tell you otherwise. Come discover and learn about these “buzzy” bodies by playing a game of Truth or Dare, and creating Mind Maps that will take us through the journeys of these important species.

Seen Through Zines

Ages 9-18

Wednesday, July 24
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Scarab Club

Students will learn the histories of the Scarab Club and of zines as a medium for communication, and then create a zine that mirrors the ethos of the intended contemplation: art, literature, music, etc. Guided prompts utilizing writing, drawing, and collage will require the students to document what they feel is unique to the building (e.g., the bird nests, fireplace, stained glass). By the end of the workshop, students will have created their own zines that they can distribute.

Scavenger Hunt

Ages 9-18

Tuesday, July 30
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Belle Isle Aquarium

Students are encouraged to use their creativity in conjunction with their research skills to create an adventure story featuring animals housed at the Belle Isle Aquarium. They will call on their own knowledge and experience as they imagine how a multitude of creatures could live and work together in a typical day, writing dialogue and drawing accompanying pictures. By the end of the workshop, students will have written and illustrated their own story.

Breaking the Frame

Ages 9-18

Tuesday, Aug. 6
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts

The “Breaking the Frame” programming at the DIA allows young writers to explore the world of art through creative writing by analyzing four selected paintings and crafting “How to Survive” guides inspired by the stories told in each artwork. Four chosen art pieces varying in complexity and narratives tailored to the differing age groups will be explored alongside curated stories based on each piece.  This programming allows students to gain insight into how to write structured guides (with emphasis on second-person active-tense), while also promoting art appreciation.

Origin Story

Ages 9-18

Tuesday, August 13
9:30-11:30 a.m.
Belle Isle Aquarium

Students will flex their creative storytelling and scientific observation skills by working in small groups to write origin stories about one of the animals on display at the Belle Isle Aquarium. Using their knowledge of the fish and their exhibits, their observation skills, collaboration, and creativity, students will create an interesting, dynamic, and creative story detailing the origin of their chosen fish/animal. 

Ready to register? Great! Registration is simple!

  1. Read through the program offerings and determine which programs are right for your student(s). Please take note of program age requirements and ensure that the day and time work for your family!
  2. Fill out the appropriate registration form by clicking one of the buttons below. You will need to fill out a registration form for each program for each child.
  3. You will receive a copy of your registration form via email. (If you do not receive this email, the registration was not completed. Please return to the form and make sure you fill it out completely.)
  4. A program staffer will get back to you with more information within one week. In the meantime, get excited! Our programs are AWESOME, and your family is going to have a great experience. Hooray!

Please click the appropriate button below to register for each program!

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