The Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. is hiding a secret. Since 2005, more than 13,000 young people have stepped inside its Atomic Teleporter and been granted access to 826 Seattle, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youths 6 to 18 years old. The center, staffed by volunteers as vibrant and creative as their student clientele, offers many programs including support to teachers in their classrooms, free after-school help in all subject areas, writing workshops and clubs, and theatrical-writing field trips.
826 Seattle goes beyond strengthening grammar and sentence structure and encourages youth to express themselves creatively through project-based publishing and to develop confidence by finding their voices through personal storytelling. English language learners, an estimated 65 percent of the student clientele, are supported by volunteers and staff committed to improving quality of life as well as language skills.
"At 826 Seattle, we believe that if a child arrives at adulthood with the ability to write well, the chances of having a good life are much greater," writes Teri Hein, "826 Seattle's founder and executive director. It is our work to clear away the brush on the pathway to happy, successful adulthoods. We also believe that sharing stories helps people understand each other."
In 2011, 826 Seattle received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, one of 12 organizations nationwide honored for its work educating young people in the arts and humanities. Seattle's Young Shakespeare Workshop (a 2011 Youth Arts funding recipient) also received the prestigious award in 2011.
826 Seattle received support through Civic Partners, the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs' funding program for organizations, which invests in a full spectrum of arts, heritage and cultural groups. In 2011, we awarded more than $1.5 million to 130 organizations to support nearly 6,000 performances, events and exhibit days. Funded programs engaged more than 16,500 volunteer and paid artists serving an audience of 1.4 million, including nearly 300,000 students and youth and more than 491,000 free admissions.