826michigan expands programming to Detroit, finds home at Model D

826michigan, a nonprofit dedicated to helping students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills that also owns and operates the Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair in Ann Arbor (along with their own writing lab), has expanded its reach from Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti into Detroit.
 
"We've always had in our minds as an organization to work in the city of Detroit," says Amanda Uhle, Executive Director of 826michigan. "It wasn't the right time in the early years when we were establishing ourselves, then in 2011 our board members did a strategic plan and found we were not only stable but ready to grow."
 
Over the last year and a half the organization has been working on expanding into Detroit and has started offering programming in the city. Last October, they received funding from the DTE Energy Foundation for the first year in Detroit. "We have a deep commitment to the city," says Uhle. "We wanted to start when we were ready and could sustain our work (here)."
 
Currently located in a temporary office in the Model D house at 4470 Second Avenue in Midtown, 826michigan is building its volunteer base as well as relationships with the city's public schools and libraries. 826 programming is mostly on-site at these institutions, though they do hope to have their own retail space and writing lab similar to what they have in Ann Arbor in the next 12 to 18 months.
 
826 programs are currently offered in three Detroit public schools. In five years they hope to double their reach from 2,500 to 5,000 students, half of those in Detroit. Volunteer training sessions are held every fourth Tuesday of the month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. starting this week at the Model D house, where people can learn more about the program and meet the staff.
 
Source: Amanda Uhle, Executive Director of 826michigan
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Nicole Rupersburg is a former Detroiter now in Las Vegas who regularly writes about food, drink, and urban innovators. You can follow her on Instagram @eatsdrinksandleaves and Twitter @ruperstarski.