826CHI Forward

Chicago, Illinois

Desired Services
Capital Campaign Materials,Building & Space Identification,Interior Design & Brand Integration,Accessibility & Code Compliance,Healthy & Sustainable Environments

Project Description

Every day at 826CHI, we ask students to write stories. As we reflect on our first nine years, we can tell a story of our own, one that features a lively cast of original characters, and is set against the backdrop of changing neighborhoods. It's a story of Chicago. This narrative unfolds through inspiring relationships between student authors and compassionate volunteers as they imagine and write about extraordinary new worlds.

As we look ahead to our ten-year anniversary, we recognize that our potential for growth unequivocally hinges on a strong base of support and a dynamic setting that inspires the creative process. The 826CHI Forward capital fund will fulfill these needs while strengthening our core, empowering our community, and advancing us into the next chapter of our story.

Each phase focuses on a necessary aspect of our growth, beginning with relocation to a larger, more affordable space; followed by an enhancement of tools, materials, and technology; and culminating with an ongoing fortification of resources. Of course, we can't do this alone. Just as our students' stories inspire us, we hope that our story inspires you to support 826CHI Forward.

Over the past decade, we have served more than 15,000 students from 365 schools across Chicago, and trained 4,000 volunteers. Due to the limitations of our current space, we operate with waitlists up to triple the annual capacity of each program. Consider what your support can do:


Ingrid and her brother William have been students of After-School Tutoring & Writing for the past three years. As Ingrid nears high school, the kind of help 826CHI offers shifts focus to college preparedness. Your support of 826CHI Forward creates a space for students like Ingrid and William to prepare for their future through specialized programs that extend through their high school years.


Aparna started volunteering regularly four years ago. As a result of her experience with 826CHI, she shifted her career focus to education
and pursued a master's degree in teaching. This is her first year in the classroom. Your support of 826CHI Forward establishes opportunities for volunteers to deepen relationships with students and inspires volunteers to take civic action, pursue academic dreams, or discover new career paths.


High school English teacher Ms. Rivera and her students have long been involved in numerous programs since 2012. 826CHI volunteers have spent more than 500 hours in her classrooms on the South and West sides of Chicago. Your support of 826CHI Forward allows us to expand our partnerships with Chicago teachers as we train even more volunteers to provide individualized writing support in classrooms across the city.

Phase One: BUILD May -Aug 2014 Build-out and move into our new home one block south on N. Milwaukee Ave. / Phase Two: FURNISH Aug- Dec 2014 Update technology, furnishings, and support materials necessary for growth. / Phase Three: FORTIFY Dec 2014-May 2015 Fortify for a future that better serves more students and expands our reach in Chicago.