Our Programs

After-School Tutoring

After-School Tutoring

We offer free after-school tutoring to help students with their homework, creative writing, expository writing, or English Language Learning. Our trained tutors are on-call to give students the time and attention they need to nurture their unique style and accomplish their learning goals. Each afternoon, we begin by tackling the day’s homework assignments and if there’s extra time, we wrap up with reading time and writing prompts. Parents and teachers help us target each student’s particular learning needs. The students in this program also produce a bilingual, biannual collection of writing called Look Closer/Mira de Cerca. During the week, Monday through Thursday, we offer this program to a group of enrolled students.

On Sundays, we do things differently and offer drop-in tutoring. There’s no enrollment required; anyone aged 6–18 who wants some extra help is invited to stop by. Students bring in the plays, poems, and novels they’re working on; and when they’re between projects, we offer writing prompts. If you love to write, or if you just need a little extra homework help, Sunday drop-in is for you. We hope you’ll stop by.

Click here to download the enrollment criteria for the After-School Tutoring program (at 826 Valencia).

Exploring Words Summer Camp

Our five-week summer writing program is designed for current 826 Valencia 2nd through 5th graders who are in high need of academic support. The camp runs Monday through Thursday from 1p.m.–5p.m. and provides a creative writing and science exploration experience through reading, writing, and hands-on activities that strengthen the STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Throughout the camp, students will conduct science experiments, craft original stories, and write with the one-on-one support of tutors. At the end of the five weeks, students will have developed a portfolio of their work, and we publish a chapbook of their work. In 2014, the students co-authored Stars Explode Like Popcorn, just one of the many lessons they learned over the course of the five weeks. Here are some other things the Exploring Words students learned:

  • Poems can be about anything
  • Poems can be funny, weird or serious
  • Poems do not have to rhyme
  • Poems use metaphors, similes, descriptive words and sensory details
  • Poems can be different lengths. Some are long, and some are short.
  • Poems have lines and stanzas
  • Use five senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, sound)
  • Describe physical features
  • Clear, loud and proud!
  • Be silent when someone is presenting
  • Plot is all the events
  • Climax is most exciting
  • Rising action leads to the main event
  • Stars explode like popcorn!
  • Fire equals heat + fuel + oxygen
  • Constellations are in the galaxy
  • Sound travels in waves
  • More weight equals more kinetic energy
  • Gas fumes are deadly
  • Earthquake safety: stay away from trees