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About Us

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 individualized attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

​​Named for the street address of our first Writing Center in San Francisco, 826 Valencia was founded in 2002 by educator Nínive Calegari and author Dave Eggers. 826 Valencia has grown to include three Centers—our flagship location in the Mission District, a Center in the Tenderloin neighborhood, and a Center in an affordable housing building in Mission Bay.

We also provide programming in classrooms at over ten schools around the city. Each of our Writing Centers is fronted by a whimsical store that invites students into a world where imagination reigns. We sell our students’ publications at the stores and all proceeds go right back into our programs, which are offered free of charge. With the support of community volunteers and donors, we are able to serve thousands of students in San Francisco a year.

Due to the success of our model, a separate organization called 826 National was founded in 2008 to help other cities launch their own writing and tutoring centers. We are now one of nine official 826 chapters in the United States, inspiring many other like-minded groups around the world.

Learn more about the 826 chapters in:

  • 1
    No. 1

    Transform students’ relationships to writing, building their confidence and pride.

  • 2
    No. 2

    Provide individualized attention and support, so students can make great leaps in learning.

  • 3
    No. 3

    Partner with under-resourced schools and communities, providing our free services to those who would not otherwise have access.

  • 4
    No. 4

    Cultivate wonder, inspiring imagination and creativity in all of our spaces and programs.


Writing is agency. It’s a tool for telling your story, processing experiences, building community, and bringing imagination to life.

But many students lack confidence and skills when it comes to writing, for a host of reasons—the challenge of learning English as a second language, financial and housing instability, and a lack of one-on-one attention during the school day, to name a few.

In a world that systemically devalues the voices and stories of young people of color, writing can empower them to express themselves, celebrate their cultures, and engage in our national dialogue —making writing skills core to a just and democratic society.

We believe...

that when our students feel confidence and pride in their writing skills, they can access opportunities, tell their stories, and make the world a better place.

Impact Report

Read our 2022-2023 Impact Report.

Strategic Plan

Read our 2023-2026 Strategic Plan.

Our Supporters

Our work is made possible by the generosity of many individuals and groups.

Learn More
Financial Information


Temporary DAF Mailing Address
826 Valencia
PO Box 410595
San Francisco, CA 94141-0595
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