826 National

See our Gifts

826 National is a tutoring, writing, and publishing nonprofit based in seven cities across the country. Since starting up in 2002, our goal has been to assist students ages 6-18 with their writing skills while helping teachers get their classes excited about the writing. Our mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Through volunteer support, each of the seven 826 chapters provides drop-in tutoring, class field trips, writing workshops, and in-schools programs—all free of charge—for students, classes, and schools. 826 chapters are especially committed to supporting teachers, offering services and resources for English Language Learners, and publishing student work.


826 National is a family of seven nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping students, ages 6-18, with expository and creative writing.

Our mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Each chapter offers drop-in tutoring, field trips, workshops, and in-schools programs — all free of charge — for children, classes, and schools with particular interests or particular needs.

826 is especially committed to supporting teachers, offering services and resources for English language learners, and publishing student work. All locations offer unique retail experiences as well.


826 Valencia—named for its street address in San Francisco—first opened its doors in April 2002. Author Dave Eggers, along with veteran teacher Nínive Calegari, founded our first center. From the outset, 826 Valencia’s goal was simple: support students, ages 6-18, with their writing skills and help teachers get their students excited about writing. Due to overwhelming interest from others around the country, 826 Valencia now also serves as 826 National, the flagship center for a tutoring and mentorship model that has been duplicated in five other cities: New York, Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Seattle, and Boston.


826 programming reaches students at every opportunity—in school, after school, in the evenings, and on weekends. Each of the 826 National chapters works to produce professional-quality publications written entirely by young people, to forge relationships with teachers in order to create innovative workshops and lesson plans, to inspire students to write and appreciate the written word, and to rally thousands of enthusiastic volunteers to make it all happen. By offering all of our programming for free, we aim to serve families who cannot afford to pay for the level of personalized instruction their children receive through 826 chapters.

All 826 chapters offer the following student programs:

•Field trips: Up to four times a week, 826 chapters welcome an entire public school classroom for a morning of high-energy learning. In one field trip, “Storytelling & Bookmaking,” students write, illustrate, and bind their own books within a two-hour period.

•Workshops: 826 chapters offer free workshops designed to foster creativity and strengthen writing skills in a wide variety of areas, from the playful to the practical. All workshops are project-based and are taught by experienced, accomplished professionals.

•Drop-in tutoring: 826 chapters are packed five days a week with neighborhood students who come in after school for free one-on-one tutoring in all subject areas. Built-in silent reading or read-aloud time is a standard part of every student’s experience in the program.

•In-schools programs: We dispatch teams of volunteers into local high-need public schools to support teachers and provide one-on-one assistance to students as they tackle various writing projects, such as school newspapers, research papers, oral histories, and college entrance essays.

•Publishing: 826 has created a Young Authors book program wherein students go through the entire process of book production and publication. Students learn to revise, writing up to ten drafts of an essay or story under the guidance of a professional editor, in order to be included in one of our nationally-distributed publications.


Last year we worked with more than 4,000 volunteers and over 18,000 students nationally, hosted 368 field trips, completed 170 major in-schools projects, offered 266 evening and weekend workshops, welcomed over 130 students per day for after-school tutoring, and produced over 600 student publications. Our field trips are fully booked almost a year in advance, teacher requests for in-school tutor support continue to rise, and the majority of our evening and weekend workshops have waitlists.

•99% of the students we served said that tutoring helped them in school.

•94% of parents reported that our tutoring programs have had positive effects on their child’s schoolwork and classroom conduct.

•87% of parents reported that our tutorial services improved their child’s interest in school.

•96% of parents reported that our tutorial services improved their child’s attitude toward homework

•84% of teachers we’ve supported during our field trips say the lesson plan we offered was highly appropriate for their students.

•98% of teachers also report that our field trips were an excellent learning opportunity for their students.


Nínive Clements Calegari

Nínive Calegari is the cofounder of 826 Valencia and the CEO of 826 National. She is a veteran public school teacher who has had ten years of classroom experience. Before teaching in her family's hometown in Mexico, Nínive worked at Leadership High School, San Francisco’s first charter school, where she also served on the Board of Directors. She holds an MED in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Ninive was coauthor of Teachers Have it Easy: the Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America’s Teachers. She was also the recipient of Edutopia’s 2007 Daring Dozen award.


United States


California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Washington


SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94110-1737
Phone: (415) 642-5905
EIN: 04-3694151


Help Students Write

Pens and pencils

826 National

Regular price $10.00

For just under ten dollars, you’ll put a bundle of 100 pencils in our pencil cups, every one of them ready to be worked down to a nub in the service of a student’s homework assignment or a creative story. 826 helps students with their writing skills. In an effort to honor the students’ accomplishments, to give them an opportunity to show off their writing...

House Kids' Words!

One case of paper

826 National

Regular price $50.00

With one case of paper, we’ll be able to print field trip books for 710 kids, or 200 copies of an in-house chapbook —with enough left over to let Veronica print out her essay for class, and allow Osvaldo to have a clean copy of his story about fire trucks for his dad.