Celebrating 826 New Orleans

Dear Big Class Family,

We have very big news to share with you today.

Since 2010, Big Class has served more than 3,500 youth through dynamic, innovative, free writing programs supported by more than 400 volunteers. Our vision of providing platforms and support for young writers has been inspired by the 826 model since we began in a classroom of 43 1st graders more than six years ago, through to History Between These Folds, published this week.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that when we open our Youth Writing Center in 2018 we will become a part of the 826 National network as 826 New Orleans.

Through this partnership, Big Class will receive strategic support from an award-winning national literacy organization that serves more than 32,000 young people annually, while we continue to work as as an independent 501(c)(3) responding to New Orleans’ unique local needs. 826 New Orleans will be the 8th chapter of 826 and the first in the South.

Our Youth Writing Center, located in the 7th Ward, will serve as a hub for literacy, hosting students, teachers, and community members year-round and offering innovative school-day, after-school, weekend, and summer programming that seeks to energize and elevate educational practices in New Orleans.

In addition to serving as writing labs and tutoring centers, each 826 chapter operates a whimsical retail storefront designed to draw in community members and transport students into an inspiring environment. Our Youth Writing Center storefront, The NewOrleans Haunting Supply Co., will supply the ghostly denizens of the Crescent City with souls, human disguises, t-shirts, and other goods and services for the non-corporeal.

Hundreds of community members have worked together to create this space of possibility. Today offers a moment for all of us to reflect on all we have achieved so far and to look ahead at the profound impact we can have, helping to amplify the voices of New Orleans' young writers. Thank you for all you’ve done and will continue to do to make this work possible. 

Sincerely,

Doug Keller
Big Class Co-Founder/Executive Director