The Man Behind THIS Curtain Isn't the Wizard of Oz—but He's Got Real Heart

The volunteers at 826LA are transforming lives one writing assignment at a time.
Apr 24, 2014·
Lauren Wade has worked as a photographer and editor for The Style Network, NBC, Daily Candy and elsewhere.

826 National, a nationwide nonprofit writing and tutoring center, works with students on their creative and expository writing skills in an effort to help them find their voice. Students ages six to 18 work one-on-one and in small groups with talented volunteers on such things as storytelling, bookmaking, and publishing. 826 has eight chapters nationwide, with more than 4,000 active volunteers serving close to 30,000 students.

“For a kid to learn the power of storytelling is for them to learn the power of their own story. They’re on their own hero’s journey and they deserve a happy ending,” says Eric Stolls, a volunteer teacher at 826LA, 826’s Los Angeles–based chapter. The group believes that strong writing skills are fundamental to a successful future. Filmmakers Lauren Wade and Ian Midgley take an inside look at how the fine folks at 826LA are making a difference, one writing assignment at a time.