Writers’ Room Program
A dedicated classroom within a Boston Public School building, the 826 Boston Writers' Room Program can catalyze a culture of creativity and writing for an entire school.Photo by Gretjen Helene Photography
Each 826 Boston Writers’ Room delivers long-term, meaningful change in the lives of students, serving students during and after the school day with the individualized attention that improves writing skills and fosters creative self-expression. With a focus on publishing, improving writing skills, and project-based learning, the Writers’ Room uses trained volunteer tutors and full-time dedicated staff to unlock students’ full potential. Over the course of a school year, the Writers’ Room will serve every student in the school through whole-class visits, individual writing assistance, and/or after-school extracurricular activities.
In 2013, 826 Boston opened its first Writers’ Room, a fully-staffed program modeled on the university writing center and embedded within a public school, at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science. Since then, 826 Boston has opened five additional Writers’ Rooms at Boston public schools with offerings such as tutoring and mentoring, writing support, clubs, activities, and publishing projects.
826 Boston plans to open at least one additional Writers’ Room in a partner Boston Public School each year from 2017 through 2021. To find out more about hosting a Writers’ Room, please contact us.
Located at the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science, 826 Boston’s Writers’ Room is a collaborative project with Northeastern University’s Writing Program. With Northeastern’s help, the Writers’ Room provides classroom support for writing assignments throughout the school day, in addition to holding after-school activities and clubs ranging from a slam poetry team to a student-run literary journal, Rubix.
826 Boston opened its second Writers’ Room in September of 2016 at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester. Support from the Calderwood Writing Initiative, the Boston Globe Foundation, Clipper Ship Foundation, Liberty Mutual Education Initiative, the Ludcke Foundation, State Street Foundation, and the Wellington Management Foundation made this project possible. In addition to whole-class visits and drop-in writing assistance, the Writers’ Room at the Burke has offered extracurricular activities such as a slam poetry team.
The 826 Boston Writers’ Room at the Boston Teachers Union (BTU) School launched in September 2017. The BTU was the first 826 Boston Writers’ Room in an elementary/middle school, which allows 826 Boston to work with about 300 students per year at an earlier stage to inspire creativity, improve writing skills, and support teachers in their important work.
826 Boston opened its fourth Writers’ Room and the first at a school serving the needs of a predominantly English Language Learner population at Boston International Newcomers Academy (BINcA) in September 2018. Having partnered with the school and the entire graduating class of BINcA in 2017-2018 on the publication, Like the Sun in Dark Spaces, 826 Boston is thrilled to be able to continue serving this incredible community of impressive learners. Every student at Boston International Newcomers Academy (BINcA) in Dorchester arrived in this country within the past four years and more than 20 languages are spoken by students at the school.
The Blanca Burgos Bilingual Writers’ Room at the Rafael Hernández School in Roxbury is our first Writers’ Room in a dual-language school. The Writers’ Room is named for Blanca Burgos, a talented writer and beloved educator in the Hernández community who passed in Spring 2018. The Rafael Hernández School hosts a student population in grades K-8, 62% of whom are English Language Learners. Students participate in a curriculum that is taught in both English and Spanish.
The 826 Boston Writers’ Room, in collaboration with the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, at Northeastern University, is the most recent addition to our family of programs in Boston Public Schools.