Arts, Culture, and Humanities

826LA

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • http://www.826la.org

Mission Statement

826LA is dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. 826LA's services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to students' future success. With this approach and objective in mind, 826LA provides in-school tutoring, assistance with student publications, after-school tutoring, workshops, and help for English language learners. All programs are free, and the overriding goal is to help our students find their voice and give them the power to express that voice with creativity and confidence.

Main Programs

  1. After-School Tutoring
  2. Field Trips
  3. Workshops
  4. In-School Support
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

826LA serves students throughout Los Angeles County.

ruling year

2005

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Joel Arquillos

Keywords

Self-reported

Los Angeles, Echo Park, Mar Vista, LAUSD, 826LA, Time Travel

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EIN

38-3722092

 Number

5375694139

Physical Address

12515 Venice Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90066

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Over the past few years, 826LA has seen tremendous growth. Since our last strategic plan, the number of hours of programming with students grew over 40% (to a whopping 66,739 hours), and in fiscal year 2015 826LA served a total of 9,587 students. These accomplishments were driven by our vision: Reaching as many underserved students across LA as we can. We know that, by the sixth grade, students born into poverty will have spent 6,000 fewer hours learning than their middle-class peers; however, we have seen firsthand how 826LA can support a student's confidence, develop pride in her or his writing skills, and spark a desire to learn and thrive in the world, despite the statistics.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

After-School Tutoring

After-School Tutoring takes place Monday through Thursday. This program is offered to the public for free. Professionally-trained volunteer tutors help students complete homework assignments, improve literacy skills, and create pieces of original writing, which we publish in anthologies once a month and distribute to students free of charge.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

Program 2

Field Trips

Up to four times a week, we welcome into our writing labs an entire public school classroom for a morning of high-energy learning. Field trips include Storytelling & Bookmaking, screenplay writing, "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories, spoken-word poetry, and, at a teacher's request, we will custom design a field trip to complement his or her curriculum.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

Program 3

Workshops

826LA offers workshops that cover a wide spectrum of subjects, all designed to strengthen students' skills, foster their creativity, give them an opportunity to execute projects, and showcase their work to a wide audience. We keep classes small to ensure individualized attention. Recent classes have covered crafting college-application essays, designing imaginary countries, preparing for the SAT, and writing rock operas. During the summer, we also offer summer camp for English Language Learners (ELL) and a spoken word poetry camp for high school students.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

Program 4

In-School Support

Our In-School Support Program provides critical support to overburdened public school teachers working in overcrowded classrooms. We bring our trained volunteers into the classroom to help reduce student-teacher ratios and provide one-on-one support to those students most in need. Before entering the classroom, our experienced staff works with teachers to craft projects that are engaging and target the curricular issue needing to be addressed. The sessions vary depending upon the age and academic level of the students and are
always focused on developing their writing skills. We offer a wide range of support: from classes working on a five-paragraph essay with English language learners to students writing their college application essays.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    As we look forward, a large priority of ours is building out the foundation that keeps all of our programs running: Volunteers. Volunteers provide the individualized attention and mentoring that is central to 826LA's programs. In a given week, we have 150+ volunteers working with our students, and we know many of these students rarely get one-on-one attention outside of our programs (LA has one of the highest student-to-teacher ratios in the nation at 25 to 1, often higher). Once we have a solid infrastructure to support these volunteers, we'll be able to grow at a much more sustainable rate. 826LA firmly believes that, given our limited resources, we need to focus on reaching underserved students. As part of our three year strategic plan, we will keep increasing our services to the students and schools who need our programs the most. Over the next three years, we want our name and mission to connect with more people across the city, translating their excitement into donations, partnerships, and quality volunteers. With the help of more Angelenos, 826LA can reach more students across the city.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Four key strategic priorities guide our plans for 2015–2018 to better serve students and strengthen 826LA:

    Priority 1: Deepen programming, slightly expand reach, and focus on underserved students
    Priority 2: Grow, retain, and diversify volunteer base
    Priority 3: Grow overall fundraising and strengthen brand awareness
    Priority 4: Continue strengthening our operations, processes and culture, and hire/retain/diversify the staff and board
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    After scaling at an ambitious rate over the last few years, 826LA is now set to strategically refine how programs are delivered to best meet the needs of underserved students in Los Angeles. With strong volunteer support, a well-trained staff, and dedicated Board of Directors, we are confident in our ability to meet our strategic plan goals.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    As stated in its 2016-2018 strategic plan, 826LA's main objective for its volunteer program is to grow from 21,085 hours of volunteer work in 2014–2015 to 24,500 hours in 2017–2018—a 16% increase. Other objectives during the 2017 and 2018 grant period include:
    • To undertake targeted volunteer recruitment in new communities near 826LA's programming sites, including Leimert Park, West Adams, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Boyle Heights, and East LA.
    • To strengthen how 826LA retains its volunteer base, establishing suggested volunteer commitments, improving training and communication, and increasing appreciation, and ensure there is a strong sense of belonging and understanding of the direct impact of being a volunteer.
    • To diversify the volunteer force by establishing more partnerships with groups who can provide long-term sources of committed and diverse volunteers (i.e. mission-driven businesses and tech companies; local college and universities; organizations like Prime Time and AARP) who also prioritize providing volunteers to community organizations during 826LA programming hours (8 am–8:30 pm).
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Over the past few years, 826LA has seen tremendous growth. Since the organization's last strategic plan, the hours of student programming grew over 40% (to 66,739 hours), and in fiscal year 2015 826LA served a total of 9,587 students. These accomplishments were driven by the vision to reach as many socioeconomically disadvantaged students across LA as possible. 826LA's strategic plan for fiscal years 2016-2018 aims to increase the organization's capacity by focusing on what makes its model so effective: volunteers.
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

826LA serves students throughout Los Angeles County.

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

826LA most pressing need is general operating support to insure that we can continue to provide high quality programs to an ever-expanding population of underserved youth living in the Los Angeles area. 826LA is committed to supporting students age 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, skills that are fundamental to their future success. As the Los Angeles Unified School District faces even larger budget cuts and classroom sizes continue to grow, the need and demand for our services is growing exponentially. General operating support will help us in our efforts to meet the growing demand and give us the flexibility to meet the most pressing needs of our students and programs as they arise.

Videos

photos


External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

826LA
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

826LA

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Joel Arquillos

BIO

Joel Arquillos is 826LA's Executive Director. He taught social studies in the San Francisco Unified School District for eight years. Joel is also a member of the National Writing Project where he has presented and worked extensively on integrating web-based
technology into the teaching curriculum. Joel is a native Spanish speaker.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"I transferred to Los Angeles in 2008, where as Executive Director of 826LA I've enjoyed the eagerness, optimism, and commitment of the creative community. My work with 826 goes back to the beginning when our parent organization, 826 Valencia, first opened its doors. I was a teacher at Galileo High School, a large comprehensive public school in San Francisco. 826 Valencia honored me with their first teacher of the month award based on recommendations by my students, teachers, and parents. From that point on I welcomed 826 Valencia's tutors into my classroom to work with my students on a variety of writing projects. 

Through 826LA, we provide the kinds of vital services my classroom benefited from to even more schools across Los Angeles. It is my personal conviction that in order to properly educate and prepare our youth to take on tomorrow's challenges and become tomorrow's mentors and leaders, we need to bring our community of volunteers into classrooms in order to provide much-needed one-on-one support to the students that need it most."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Jodie Evans

CODEPINK

Term: Dec 2013 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?