FROM THE NEWS NEST: An Evening of Music & Comedy to Benefit 826LA

May 21. 2012 | By Collin Welbon

From helping students become confident enough to write an acceptable college entry essay to providing kids with opportunities to become published authors, 826LA provides free writing and tutoring programs to children ages 6-18 throughout Los Angeles. With dedicated and trained volunteers and a plan to publish an anthology of the high school students’ writing, 826LA is empowering our youth by providing them with the support and guidance they need to truly harness the power of the pen.

826LA is a non-profit organization (part of the larger 826 National — originally founded by Dave Eggers in San Francisco as 826 Valencia) and understands that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. On Thursday, June 14th at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, there will be an evening of music and comedy to benefit 826LA’s free writing and tutoring programs for children. The host for the evening’s event is none other than renowned screenwriter, director, and producer, Judd Apatow. Also providing music and comedy are Jon Brion and Peter Frampton along with numerous, yet-to-be-announced special guests. All proceeds from this event will support the non-profit writing and tutoring center 826LA and its free programs for children. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.826la.org/juddandjonshow.

“In this day of dying journalism and good writing in general, I think it’s amazing to be building up a generation of young kids to become writers. It’s an important art form that should be nourished and encouraged.” –Beth, a volunteer tutor with 826LA

Here is a little more information about one of the projects 826LA is working on with the high school students in the program. As was mentioned earlier, the high school students have been diligently working to compile their writing into an anthology. The anthology is titled A Ring of Sunshine Around the Moon and will be revealed at the June 1st release event at the Last Bookstore in Downtown LA. The central theme for the anthology came from the students reading J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and then finding some parallel between the themes in Salinger’s work, his main character Holden Caulfield, and their own lives. The over-arching theme for their anthology centered around the difficult experiences of growing up, but as true writers, they decided to use a solar eclipse as a metaphor encompassing their writing – while solar eclipses are inevitable and dark, some may choose to see the beauty in such situations, like the glowing ring of sunshine around the moon during a solar eclipse. Along with all the writing, the high school students are also involved in the entire publishing process, so they are truly involved in the creation of this anthology from cover to cover.

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