Posted on Jun 17, 2020
Our speaker on June 17th was Dr. Naimah Wade with 826Michigan.
826Michigan imagines a future where all students readily access their personal creativity through writing and confidently stand in the power of their stories. With beginners, it can be as simple as making them comfortable with letting their ideas out. This is accomplished with the help of adult volunteers. 
It’s goal is to assist 5-18 year olds with their writing skills through one-on-one attention with the belief that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.  Volunteers are provided with focused training and are then able to assist students through the writer’s club writing series, workshops, field trips through a virtual learning lab, and weebots for young (age 5-10) learners. During the school year, there are also weekly tutoring sessions.
826 began in San Fransisco in 2002 and there are now 9 chapters around
the country, with locations in Ann Arbor and Detroit.  Dr. Wade joined the non-profit 2 years ago.
826 Michigan is comprised of 2 full-time staff members, 3 part-time, 2 Americorp members, 7 interns, and 500 volunteers (mostly college students) and has served 3,265 students.   Its annual budget is $920,000, with money coming from grants, individual donations, and from their retail store.  Each 826 location has a whimsical retail theme, with Michigan’s being robots.