1,000 Mentors for Students: Build a Greater City of Angels with 826LA!

submission by 826la

Organization Name

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826LA

Website

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www.826la.org

Indicator

Please select the one indicator that is most relevant to your project or organization: Education

What is your idea and how will it impact your indicator?

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Imagine Los Angeles in the year 2050 when we all play a part in educating our city’s youngest citizens. Volunteering is as common as going to the gym. Adults feel fulfilled because they are connecting with others. School children are thriving because they have a community of role models who serve as mentors. Los Angeles is flourishing because everyone lends a hand.

In this vision of Los Angeles, education reaches beyond the classroom. Children have a wealth of teachers because adults volunteer a few hours of their time each week. With so many caring adults cheering them on, students are more focused and excited to learn.

To make our vision of L.A. in 2050 a reality, 826LA will inspire over 1,000 Angelinos to make volunteering part of their lives in 2013. By sharing their talents and their time, these volunteers will help students across Los Angeles to make great leaps in learning. Studies show that students who receive one-on-one attention from adults improve their academic outcomes, behavior, and self-esteem. All of these attributes are crucial for the future parents, workers, and leaders of our city.

This idea will not only improve the existing problems in Los Angeles’ education system, it will encourage a culture of compassion in our city. As volunteer Kelly told 826LA, “It feels good to give yourself to something else.” By sharing their experiences with their friends and families, these 1,000 volunteers will encourage even more people to volunteer to lead a workshop, to coach a soccer game, or to help a child with their homework. Pretty soon, everyone in L.A. will be doing it, and we’ll all be the better for it, too.

What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

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Since opening our doors in 2005, 826LA has served more than 30,000 students from across Los Angeles County. Thanks to the hard work of over 3,000 volunteers and countless supporters, 826LA has increased its reach substantially over the past few years. In 2008, 826LA opened a new center in Echo Park. This fall, 826LA moved its Westside operations to Mar Vista. This new Mar Vista center increases 826LA’s capacity significantly, providing 2,625 square-feet of creative space for students as well as better visibility and accessibility for the organization. 826LA will have the capacity to serve 30% more students each day through After-School Tutoring in Mar Vista; to add a series of evening workshops targeted at middle and high school students; and to recruit and train up up to 35 volunteers per week.

Last year, 826LA served 10,105 students last year--a 23% increase from the previous year. We are not only serving more students, but we are increasing the benefits of our programs across the academic curriculum. Over six years of assessments and surveys demonstrate that 826LA’s programs build self-esteem, teach literacy skills, and improve educational outcomes. Last year:

- 93% of students reported that they understood their writing assignment better thanks to the help of 826LA volunteers;


- 90% of students reported that working with an 826LA volunteer in their classroom increased their confidence about writing;


- 95% of students reported that they were proud of what they created during an 826LA workshop;


- 100% of students reported that their grades have improved since receiving tutoring at 826LA.

Other notable achievements include:


• In 2006, 826LA received a Proclamation of Recognition from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and in honor of our 5th Anniversary in 2010, 826LA received an award from the Los Angeles City Council, acknowledging 826LA’s dedication to the community;


• 826LA received a Proclamation of Recognition from Los Angeles Supervisor Eric Garcetti for our work in the Echo Park community in March 2010;


• 826LA was named a “Nonprofit to Follow” by Philanthropy magazine in 2012;


• On April 9, 2013, 826LA will be honored during the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service at City Hall by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for our work with the Corporation for National and Community Service and Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA).

Thanks in part to recruitment, training, and retention practices strengthened by AmeriCorps VISTA members, hours contributed by volunteers at 826LA increased by 40% last year!

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

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826LA will collaborate with AmeriCorps VISTA; local colleges and universities including Cal State LA, Cal State Northridge, USC, and UCLA; and its volunteer corps of over 3,000 individuals in order to successfully implement this project. To recruit volunteers, 826LA will collaborate with LA Works as part of their California Volunteers Service Enterprise Initiative.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

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To evaluate this project, 826LA will measure its success towards reaching the following goals:

1) Recruit, register, and train at least 1,000 volunteer mentors in 2013;
2) Share volunteer stories through 826LA's website, blog, events, and external communications in order to promote volunteering in Los Angeles;
3) A minimum of 85% of students participating in 826LA’s in-school programs will report that the adults they worked with cared about their success in school.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles? Please be specific.

Los Angeles students attend some of the most overcrowded schools in the United States. With so many students in their classrooms, teachers are unable to offer the one-on-one time that is crucial for young people. 826LA seeks to give students the individual attention they need to become effective learners, confident leaders, and engaged citizens. 826LA’s project will do this by inspiring over 1,000 citizens to get involved in our community and mentor local students. Even a few hours of volunteer time can have a huge impact on a child: studies show that with 35-40 hours of tutoring, a student can increase his or her reading by an entire grade level!

Beyond the educational boon to students, this project will benefit the whole city by encouraging a culture of compassion. The impact of helping others is significant: studies show that volunteering reduces stress and alleviates depression. The impact of receiving help can be transformative, too. Students will grow up knowing that they are an important part of a community that cares about them. Volunteers become mentors to the children they work with, and, by modeling good citizenship, they will teach children that giving back is just part of what we do in Los Angeles.

Our vision of a connected future starts today. The more we volunteer in 2013, the more we perpetuate this cycle of giving. And by 2050, today’s students will become tomorrow’s mentors for a new generation of Angelinos.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

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If 826LA is successful in shaping the future of the city, every student in Los Angeles will receive the one-on-one help they need to succeed. Individual attention helps students build leadership skills that are essential for 21st century life, including focus, strong communication, decisiveness, self-respect, and compassion. Volunteers will make it possible for every student to receive individual attention regardless of their socio-economic status. Talent, experience, and kindness abound in the City of Angels, and by volunteering just a few hours a week, Angelinos can share this wealth with young people.

It’s projected that there will be more than 39 million people in Los Angeles County in 2050—that’s a lot of volunteers! By making volunteering part of our lives, we will give our students a diverse group of role models. Students will have opportunities to explore filmmaking from film professionals; to visit science labs; to discover other cultures; and to practice their English-language skills with their neighbors.

By 2050, citywide volunteering will create a more united Los Angeles. Generous adults not only provide the one-on-one attention that students need, but also show them that they are part of a community that cares. It’s important that young people find the inspiration and guidance that they are seeking; and see first hand what the work of volunteers can do for others, and ultimately, for themselves. As 826LA volunteer Vicente explains:

"I [volunteer] because I can relate to the students. I grew up this way. I struggled with English writing and English speaking. I know the importance of receiving positive reinforcement, and that's what students get when they come to 826LA. I volunteer because my heart is in helping students."

By giving our attention and volunteering our time, everyone will contribute to the education of our children in 2050. Our students—and all of Los Angeles—will benefit from this culturally rich, engaged, and united city.

Discussion
35 Pink-talk-bubble-tail

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awesome I volunteer reading and donate books kindle and clothes shoes - robbie klein saturday night live

by lonnie.jones.794
about 1 year ago | Reply

My daughters have benefited from a number of workshops over the years. It's not just the one-on-one mentoring, though the nurturing and feedback have been invaluable. 826LA provides sanctuary. Students have fun but get down to work in the gorgeous setting. They're taken seriously as writers. Most importantly, though, 826LA allows kids to take flight with whimsical, out of the box programming that makes them think and dream. I can't thank them enough.

by waverlyroot
over 1 year ago | Reply

A Vote for CRD3 is a vote for Engagement!!! Help me teach the kids to pay attention!!!! Vote in one click here: http://myla2050.maker.good.is/projects/CRD3LA

by CRD3LA
over 1 year ago | Reply

With many public school classrooms maxing out their capacity, teachers continually find themselves stretched in more ways than they can handle. And as a result, many instructional lessons are glossed over because there simply isn

by elva.ortega
over 1 year ago | Reply

You're right, Elva, and one-on-one attention is so important! Thanks for your support.

by 826la
over 1 year ago | Reply

I have volunteered with 826LA for neatly 5 years. Some of the best projects I have worked on include: (1) helping middle school children who are in danger of failing and not being able to walk the stage at middle school graduation catch up on their work and achieve the grades they need to complete middle school with honor--a fantastic way to teach kids at an important age that they can dig themselves out of a hole; (2) working one on one with high school students to prepare them to succeed on the essay test that will ensure them admission to the Cal State system; (3) participating in 826LA's English Laguage Learners summer program for elementary school children, a free, educational, fun half day summer program that every parent would be pleased to have his/her child attend. 826LA is a first class program that is very worthy of support.

by Rstagg
over 1 year ago | Reply

You hit the nail on the head, Regina! Kids learn perseverance with help from volunteers. Thanks so much for being such a great mentor to LA kids and an advocate for 826LA!

by 826la
over 1 year ago | Reply

Lots of organizations and projects sound good on paper, but I've seen firsthand that 826LA actually works. Students come in daily for a level of (free) attention, help, support, and inspiration that changes both the students and the volunteers. 826 also publishes their creative writing, goes into schools, invites classes in for field trips, and more. The atmosphere there is electric, even though the staff is chill. I know that if 826 wins, the $100K will be put to good use, and it will change lives. -Debra

by ForKids
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks so much, Debra! 826LA works because of the commitment of dedicated volunteers like you. Thanks for making such a big difference in the lives of so many LA kids!

by 826la
over 1 year ago | Reply

I love being part of this team. The staff are wonderful, passionate and dedicated. The kids bring ideas to the table that only kids can. Their stories are funny and heart wrenching and it's such a pleasure to be involved with an organisation where you can witness the instant gratification of growth and understanding before your eyes. Well done team, you rock!

by philippa.medearis
over 1 year ago | Reply

YOU rock! Thanks for bringing so much of yourself and your enthusiasm to LA kids. Students will never forget having awesome mentors like you!

by 826la
over 1 year ago | Reply

"95% of students reported that they were proud of what they created during an 826LA workshop."

This is my favorite part of the project description. Here's to 826LA for helping the kids of LA take pride in themselves and in their work!

by annievought
over 1 year ago | Reply

Confidence is key!!! Thanks, Annie.

by 826la
over 1 year ago | Reply

Volunteering for 826LA is the gift that keeps on giving, working with the kids inspires the rest of our day, week, year, life!!!

by Jodie Evans
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks so much, Jodie! We couldn't agree more.

by 826la
over 1 year ago | Reply

Volunteering for 826LA allows me to help the youth in the local community and have fun while I'm at it!

by mpatsel
over 1 year ago | Reply

That's the secret about volunteering: it's fun! Thanks so much for your support!

by 826la
over 1 year ago | Reply

Volunteering for 826LA is the gift that keeps on giving, working with the kids inspires the rest of our day, week, year, life!!!

by Jodie Evans
over 1 year ago | Reply

We

by jarquillos
over 1 year ago | Reply

826LA is making huge strides with its dedication to literacy and its work with students. Tutors work tirelessly day-to-day, inspiring, building confidence, and leaving kids beaming with joy and pride.

by bdklug
over 1 year ago | Reply

826LA is lucky to have great staff as well who inspire our kids and volunteers!

by jarquillos
over 1 year ago | Reply

Cool idea, will help 826LA reach more kids who need help!

by pedro.r.estrada
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks, Pedro! We want to give every student in LA the encouragement and help they need to succeed.

by 826la
over 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks, Pedro! We want to give every student in LA the encouragement and help they need to succeed.

by 826la
over 1 year ago | Reply

We need more Pedros!

by jarquillos
over 1 year ago | Reply

826LA is a powerful, inspiring organization that helps underserved kids fall in love with reading and writing. Three cheers!

by laurench
over 1 year ago | Reply

Three cheers to you!

by jarquillos
over 1 year ago | Reply

Mentoring a child is such a meaningful way to give back! This idea would do LA a lot of good in 2013 and in 2050.

by goudaluck
over 1 year ago | Reply

There's nothing like connecting with a student on a one-on-one way. They don't get that attention very often. And not only does it inspire them, it also feeds the soul of the person giving their time as a mentor. Thank you for your kind words!

by jarquillos
over 1 year ago | Reply

I'm a tutor and workshop volunteer with 826LA. I've been able to watch students' reading and math skills improve over the last few years, and maybe even more importantly, I've gotten to know their individual personalities and creative writing styles. I hope - I think - that we all inspire each other. I hope 826LA gets the chance to get more of LA involved in reaching even more students. We will all benefit!

by kristyhansonchiaburu
over 1 year ago | Reply

Cheers to that! And thank you for already being a part of our movement. You are influencing tomorrow's volunteers through your work. I'm sure many of those young people you've worked with will remember how valuable your time with them was. They will pass that on to others. I promise!

by jarquillos
over 1 year ago | Reply

826LA is doing amazing things for students, the Los Angeles community, and the institution of education as a whole. As an intern, I get a behind-the-scenes look at all 826LA does for the children we serve and am continuously inspired by the creative ways in which this nonprofit shares the joy of learning. Furthermore, the tutors that 826LA attracts are vivacious, talented, and passionate, which is just another representation of how wonderful this organization is. I am so proud to be a part of 826LA, and will continue to support it as it makes great strides for students throughout our city.

by artemislmth
over 1 year ago | Reply

We are proud and lucky to have your support! Thank you for the kind words!

by jarquillos
over 1 year ago | Reply

I would love to read more from you, Elva. Thanks for posting and hopefully voting for us. I was a classroom teacher in a large public school and know too well the difficulties of providing five classes with an average of 35 students the kind of undivided attention necessary. That

by jarquillos
over 1 year ago | Reply

You can read more about this idea here: http://www.good.is/posts/at-826-tomorrow-s-volunteers-are-today-s-students

by jarquillos
over 1 year ago | Reply

Pink-ribbon-award-box-icon
Award_topvotedidea
$1,000,000 in total grants
Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-submission-inactive

Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08

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