826 Valencia

aka 826 Valencia   |   San Francisco, CA   |  www.826valencia.org

Mission

826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting under-resourced students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our 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 future success.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Bita Nazarian

Main address

"Temporary DAF Mailing Address" PO Box 410595

San Francisco, CA 94141-0595 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3694151

NTEE code info

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (O19)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

826 Valencia works to close the academic achievement gap for under-resourced youth by providing the resources necessary for success in school and beyond, connecting caring adults to young people in need of individualized support, and making the path to college and career less of a leap. We offer a range of free programs for students and schools.

We serve the student population of the SFUSD, of which 24% are English Language Learners (ELL), and 55% qualify for free and/or reduced-cost lunch. A report by the National Center on Education and the Economy notes that we live in a world where a high level of writing “will be an indispensable foundation for everything." Unfortunately, these skills are under-supported in underserved schools. In the 2015-16 California Assessment of Student Performance, 53% of SFUSD students scored at proficient or above in English Language Arts. This number drops to 27% for Latino students, 18% for African American students, and just 13% for English Learners.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

After School Tutoring

We offer tutoring after school to assist students with their homework and writing projects. Once homework is complete students respond to writing prompts or read with tutors.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Students are charged with the task of writing an original story as a group, with the help of 826 volunteers. While students decide on characters and plot points with a leader, another volunteer types the story, and it is projected onto the wall. Students can track the story’s progress and ask to have corrections made as needed. Meanwhile, a professional artist is illustrating the story. As the pages are finished (one set for each student), support volunteers are collating in our back production room. In the second half of the field trip, students each write their own endings with help from the leader and other volunteers. Thus, as soon as the class finishes creating the story, we’re ready to bind the books with our in-house tape bindery.

Students will go home with personalized books created as a class, with illustrated covers, and each student’s photo on an About the Author page. This field trip teaches students about collaboration, self-editing, the bookmaking process, and elements of successful storytelling. And it’s really a good time for all.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

In the evenings and on weekends, we offer a variety of free workshops for students right here in our writing lab. The topics range from academic essentials like SAT-prep and college-entrance essays, to more imaginative forms of writing like fiction, non-fiction, cartooning, and bookmaking. Each workshop is designed and taught by talented volunteers, many of them published authors, magazine founders, teachers, and filmmakers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Students

The strength of 826 Valencia’s volunteer base allows us to make partnerships with local high-needs schools. Each school day, we bring teams of volunteers into classrooms around San Francisco to support teachers with their dream projects. Whether students are composing sonnets, researching for term papers, or mastering verb conjugations, 826 tutors are available to sit side-by-side with them and lend a hand to dramatically lower the student-to-teacher ratio.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

At 826 Valencia, we know that building writing skills is vital to building future success, on whatever path our students choose. We’ve set up multiple programs to help our young writers continue to thrive and grow as they embark upon their future paths: from college essay writing support, to internships, to college scholarships, to a Youth Leadership Advisory Board, we strive to provide students with the tools they need to succeed wherever they wish to go.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Just because the school year takes a hiatus doesn’t mean that our programs do. We offer a variety of programs to keep students engaged and writing throughout the summer months — from Exploring Words summer camp, to Exploring Leadership summer camp, to our Young Authors’ Workshop, and other fun workshops, all of which engage students and result in a piece of creative work.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

CATE Award of Merit 2017

CATE

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We measure students served across all of our programs in fiscal years, so the above pertains to FY18-19.

Hours of programing delivered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the total number of free tutoring and writing workshops that we provide to students.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percent of students, parents, and teachers who report that students' writing skills increased as a result of 826 programs.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percent of students, paretns, and teachers who reported that students took pride in what they wrote in 826 programs.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percent of students, parents, and teachers who reported that students' confidence in themselves as writers increased as a result of being published by 826 Valencia.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average growth (in percent) of student writing skills per pre- and post-program writing samples scored with the National Writing Project’s Analytic Writing Continuum.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percent of parents who reported that our After-School Tutoring Program helped raise their child's grades.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

Our goals are to promote student success in school and life by strengthening writing skills and cultivating an affinity for writing in young people through creative exercises that promote wonder and fun; to provide youth with individualized attention from caring, trained tutors; to provide publishing opportunities that give students tangible proof of their hard work; to provide support to overburdened teachers by reducing class size and lowering the student-to-teacher ratio; and to prepare underserved young people for college and careers by cultivating 21st century skills.

We tackle these goals through our programming and project-based learning system, strengthening students' ability to express themselves in their own voice. More than 7,000 students participated in 826 Valencia's programs in the 2016-17 fiscal year. With the addition of a new center in the Mission Bay in early 2019, we anticipate serving 8,000 students in SF annually.

Our work is guided by these principles: Partnering with schools and teachers is the key to improving student achievement, and that it is essential to engage the community in meaningful opportunities to improve young people's lives. Our school partnerships center on the idea that teachers are professionals who have a deep understanding of their students' needs, but with oversized classrooms they lack the time to offer attention to each student, making our ongoing support a crucial tool to help meet their diverse needs. We support teachers by assisting in planning for project-based learning opportunities and by enlisting volunteers to provide 1:1 support to their students. When students work alongside engaged and caring professionals in their community, and when these volunteers make a commitment to help students succeed, students' skill and confidence levels go up, and we make significant progress toward closing the achievement gap.
In order to accommodate the diverse student population and their needs, we aim to provide services both during and after the school day, in the summer, and on the weekends. We provide meaningful and impactful support for every interest and age level, including: customized field trips for school classes, in-class tutoring support, after-school academic tutoring in all subject areas, evening and weekend writing workshops, specialized programming for English Language Learners, student publications including newspapers, chapbooks, podcasts and professionally-bound and published books, personal statement writing support, and college scholarships for graduating high school students. We host a wide variety of programs across our centers and satellite locations in local schools and we partner with neighboring organizations in the Tenderloin, including Glide, The Boys and Girls Club, and DeMarillac Academy. Projects can take place in a single session or last as long as an entire school year. Programs are offered all through the academic year and summer.

Our staff consists of experienced teachers and credentialled educators who have been working closely with students for many years. All of our professionals are fully committed to our community and deeply understand the population we're aiming to serve. We're also building capacity in the areas of board leadership, staff leadership, and onboarding/team-building. All three levels of support incorporate a strong emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

In order to accommodate two growing centers, and in preparation for the expansion to the Mission Bay, we welcomed new staff this year, and have plans to keep growing in the coming years. In order to orient new staff to 826's organizational culture, spaces and systems, we will continue to build-out our onboarding plan and develop policies and procedures. We have also hosted all-staff retreats with a focus on the StrengthsFinder assessment. This assessment allows new members an overview of how they fit into their teams and the organization as a whole. These types of sessions create more stability and connectivity among our staff and will be important as we continue to grow. We also offer professional development opportunities for staff in areas of leadership, conflict resolution, and more.

Our biggest partnership is with the San Francisco Unified School District. We work with 140+ teachers each year to bring tailored writing support to their students. In our Tenderloin Center, we work with community organizations like Glide, the Boys and Girls Club, the Cross-Cultural Family Center, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Center (TNDC), Raphael House, and the Salvation Army Kroc Center, all of whom want to enhance their programs with the addition of writing, literacy, and publishing. Students from these organizations alternate attending after-school workshops once a week, writing poetry or conjuring up their superheroes, supported by tutors who encourage their creativity and clear development and expression of ideas.

We have also collaborated on projects with Precita Eyes Muralists, Litquake, and an intensive summer program with the Jamestown Community Center.

Founded in 2002, 826 Valencia is dedicated to supporting under-resourced students aged 6-18 with their writing skills, and to helping teachers get their students excited about writing. Our work is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can be made when trained and caring volunteers work one-on-one with students, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. We invite students to share their stories and engage their imaginations through the writing process. Our free programs include field trips, one-on-one tutoring and homework help, specialized writing workshops, in-school support, college- and career- readiness, and professional student publishing opportunities.

Last year, we worked with roughly 7,000 students in the Bay Area through 2,861 hours of writing and tutoring programs. We published 36 books, chapbooks, magazines, and newspapers, and 108 field trip titles. Our work supported 130 teachers in 175 partner schools and organizations. We held 23 volunteer orientations, welcoming 350+ new faces to our dedicated team of tutors for a total of roughly 1,300 volunteers supporting us last fiscal year.

We've found that in order to foster long-term commitment in the development of academic skills, we must equally focus on engaging kids with their academic success by making them passionate and active participants in the creative process. Our work bridges the spheres of education and the arts -- we aim to transform a young person's relationship to writing by boosting critical literacy skills from an early age, supporting fluency and writing conventions, and cultivating a young person's voice. We see students shift their attitudes about writing from reluctance and intimidation, to affinity, confidence, and pride.

As our staff works with teachers and volunteers to benefit students, we see volunteers deepening their relationship with youth in the Bay Area. When students work alongside engaged and caring professionals, students' skill and confidence levels go up, and we make signigicant progress toward closing the achievement gap. These combined efforts lead to mutually beneficial outcomes: supported teachers, engaged learners, and invested community members.

In 2019, we will again expand our impact and become the anchor educational support organization in the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation's (TNDC) new low-income housing development in the Mission Bay. The Mission Bay is the city's newest neighborhood, diverse by design, where 63% of its children will be economically disadvantaged; 1,000 living within a few blocks of our third Center. There are few support services available there, and we are excited to be among the first to support it in this way. TNDC is providing us substantial capital funds coupled with 20 years of operating funds and free rent for the new space to ensure that we are sustainable.

Financials

826 Valencia
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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826 Valencia

Board of directors
as of 12/17/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jim Lesser

BBDO San Francisco

Term: 2017 -

Eric Abrams

Joya Banerjee

Jim Lesser

Dave Pell

Colleen Quinn Amster

Lisa Brown

Alex Lerner

Joe Vasquez

Rachel Swain Yeaman

Jasmine Berjikly

Carolyn Feinstein Edwards

Enikia Morthel

Liza Ramrayka

Ambar Bhattacharyya

Osvaldo Marquez

Anna Luna

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/17/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Middle Eastern
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data