826 National is a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization with locations in eight cities across the country. Our goal is to assist students ages six to eighteen with their writing skills, and to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. Our work is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.
There are eight local chapters of 826, including Boston. While we think the goal of 826 is one of the noblest pursuits, we have a special love for Boston. The executive director of 826 Boston, poet and longtime writing teacher Daniel Johnson oversees not only volunteer-staffed writing programs, but also the Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute.
Our students have to walk through the Bigfoot Institute to the tutoring center, and so pretty regularly, Bigfoot or the chupacabra appear in their writing...
Below is a short excerpt from an article published at The Boston Globe's online site boston.com. Its great to see a successful non-profit organization encourage the young ones to read and write creatively, and to use the Big Guy as inspiration is all the better.
An early fascination with poetry — and Bigfoot
By Amanda Katz
Globe Correspondent / December 19, 2010
In 2007, Boston opened its own chapter of 826 National, the nonprofit cofounded by Dave Eggers to foster writing among students, ages 6 to 18. As executive director of 826 Boston, poet and longtime writing teacher Daniel Johnson oversees not only volunteer-staffed writing programs, but also the Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute, housed in the center’s Roxbury storefront. His first book of poems, “How to Catch a Falling Knife,” was released in April.
Given your work at the Bigfoot Institute, what are your preferred books on Bigfoot, Sasquatch, or yetis?
That’s a good question, and it relates to my early love of reading. My brother, who was eight years older than I am, had a book on Bigfoot, with a black and white cover and a pair of glowing red eyes in the woods. I remember looking at the pictures of the Patterson-Gimlin footage, and fixating on that book, but not being able to read it.
We carry one of the definitive Bigfoot texts: “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science” by Jeff Meldrum. And we have a book that our kids absolutely love called “Cryptozoology A to Z” by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark. Our students have to walk through the Bigfoot Institute to the tutoring center, and so pretty regularly, Bigfoot or the chupacabra appear in their writing, like a deus ex machina. You know, there’s a wedding, and there’s a problem, and then suddenly Bigfoot appears. Like a Bigfoot ex machina.
Read the rest of the interview here.
Src: An early fascination with poetry — and Bigfoot
Loren Coleman was there in the beginning