Connecting, Creating, and Learning With Your Neighbors Connecting, Creating, and Learning With Your Neighbors

Connecting, Creating, and Learning With Your Neighbors

by Joel Arquillos

April 13, 2013

Our neighborhood is the heart of 826LA. Without our neighbors, we just wouldn't exist. It’s the moms and dads, local café workers, teachers, retired lawyers, part-time musicians, designers, college students, and many others who make our work—supporting students aged 6-18-years-old with their writing—possible. Folks may stop by one of our Time Travel Marts to pick up some Wooly Mammoth meat, but they leave knowing that there's a place in their community can adults and young people can connect, be creative, and learn from one another.

The Lozano family are our neighbors. They've been part of 826LA since we opened our center in Echo Park. Four years ago when their eldest daughter Dayanara first began coming for free tutoring and writing support, she was struggling to assimilate to a school system vastly different from the one she'd come from in Mexico. With help from our caring volunteers, Dayanara was able to turn her grades around and build her confidence with speaking and writing in English. She's now one of our most prolific young writers. Dayanara was recently named our 826LA Author of the Month, and her framed photo is the first thing every person sees as they come into 826LA.

Dayanara's sisters Ana and Yamilka, ages 6 and 7-years-old, have been following in their older sister’s footsteps. They come into 826LA most days to work with local volunteers on their homework and on their writing. Their mother, Emma Lozano, is an integral part of our organization, too. As president of our Parent Advisory Board, she leads students' parents in creating initiatives to support our programs and to encourage their children. When she picks up her daughters at 826LA, Emma stops to greet other parents from the neighborhood and finds ways to get them more involved with their kid's education.

Photo courtesy of 826LA.

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Connecting, Creating, and Learning With Your Neighbors