At 826 Valencia, all of our students are authors. 826 programs always end with a finished product, such as a book, newspaper, magazine, or podcast.
Through this project-based model, we see great leaps in our young authors’ confidence, pride, and connection to the writing process. And because these publications are distributed in our stores and in bookstores nationwide, their words inspire readers all over the world, building empathy and understanding across differences. We’re super proud of all of our publications!
Each year, we partner with a local high school to produce an anthology of student work called the Young Authors’ Book Project. This year, our young writers set out to answer the question: What is a border to you? Inspired by Luis J. Rodriguez’s Always Running, the tenth-grade students of Galileo High School in San Francisco thoughtfully crafted personal narratives, fictional short stories, letters, and poems that echo their experiences. From reflections about physical boundaries that have impacted them, to internal barriers they’ve been working to overcome, to divisions between people in their communities, these young authors meditate on their own borders—and how to cross them. Inside you’ll find resources for teachers, including a curriculum guide aligned with current English Language Arts and Literacy standards, plus loads of inspiration for any writer, thinker, or educator. Available here.
Sharing your story is a daunting task, and it’s one that 826 Valencia’s young authors tackle with wit, humor, eloquence, and immense courage. From first draft to polished perfection, students ages six to eighteen have put in time, effort, and some special magic to fill these pages with powerful prose, playful poetry, astounding articles, and more. If you’ve ever wondered why earthquakes happen, what the name “Joseph” tastes like, or what the meaning of life is, you may just find the answer here, in our annual best-of compendium of student writing, featuring a foreword by Vickie Vértiz and illustrations by Sonja Kari.