826michigan is a nonprofit organization that inspires school-aged students to write with skill and confidence in collaboration with adult volunteers in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and Detroit. Our writing and tutoring programs uphold a culture of creativity and imagination and support students in establishing strong habits of mind. Through publication and community engagement, we provide students with an authentic and enthusiastic audience for their writing. With this in mind, we offer drop-in tutoring, field trips, writing workshops, in-school programs, support for English language learners, and publishing opportunities for students ages 8-18.
Originally founded in 2005, 826michigan operates two physical locations in Ann Arbor and Detroit. Each location operates a unique robot-themed retail storefront (The Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair and The Detroit Robot Factory) in front of a writing lab where we offer programming. The robot stores provide a sense of whimsy and wonder in our space (imagine visiting a robot that recites digits of pi every fifteen minutes…and burps), and generate funding that helps to keep our programs free. We also run offsite programs in public school classrooms, and community spaces throughout Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor (including the Ypsilanti District Library).
Summer workshops include Writers Club at YDL-Michigan, an extremely popular writing program that we offer during the school year at Erickson Elementary and Estabrook Elementary. This summer, we’re opening them up to the community, hosting our first-ever community writers club in partnership with the library. The Ypsilanti Writers Club program invites students and volunteers to create a supportive community of writers, where students work with the same writing mentor in small groups of writers each week. Volunteers connect with students as they write, edit, and publish their own stories about whatever is important to them, with topics ranging from the silly to the serious. Stories can be composed and shared through a variety of genres this summer including print, video, or comics. We’ll also be hosting a Roblox-themed workshop, called Wriblox: Writing (and Building) Game Design at YDL-Superior, where students will create backstories for their Roblox characters, and use library art supplies to make them come to life in 3D!
To get the whole family writing, we’ll be running several Family Writing Labs, special story-creating events with activities for families to do together. Participants will experience a variety of creative writing stations–making wacky restaurant menus, creating your own puppet show, for example–sure to inspire the whole family. Then, families can share their work at our open mic and/or bind their family’s writing into a book that they can take home. Oh, and there will also be pizza!
Students and their families can learn more about our summer workshops program (all free!) on our website. Interested in volunteering? Please complete a Volunteer Application. We can’t wait to meet you!