826DC Writing Workshop

826DC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. 826DC provides drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications.

826DC's programs are modeled after 826 Valencia, the inspiration for the founding of 826 National, which now counts with eight affiliates, including Washington, D.C., throughout the United States. 826 National was co-founded by author Dave Eggers and by veteran educator Ninive Calegari, whose experience as a teacher shaped the 826 model.

City Blossoms Poetry Project

826DC conducted a four-month long poetry workshop in partnership with the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities, The Library of Congress, the Department of Education, as well as Georgetown and American Universities. Twenty DCPS high schools students from four different schools (Bell, Ballou, Duke Ellington, and Wilson) took part in the project that culminated in a published book called "City Blossoms" as well as a multimedia iPad app. Read more about the City Blossoms project here.

Khadejah wrote "Blue Colored Eyes" while enrolled in the City Blossoms poetry workshop.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan exchanges views with Tiesha Hines, president of Ballou High School Poetry Club, at the Library of Congress honoring participants in a President's Committee on Arts and Humanities poetry workshop with 826DC students.

Ten Things I Want to Throw at You

I wish I could throw my love at you,
But I am afraid that you just won't catch it.
And if I could, I'd throw you my heart,
But you might just break it.
I want to throw sweet kisses and embraces to comfort you in the night,
But I'm afraid if I throw you my all, you won't hold it tight.
I want to throw my imagination at you, so we can dream together,
And if I could, I'd throw you the starts so we could shine together.
If I had a halo, I would throw you that too, so you can be my angel,
My covering,
My protector,
My boo.
If I could, I would throw you my eyes, so you could see what I see.
I just want to throw you everything because I want you to be with me.

On September 25, 2011, Rashawnda reads "Down Below"and some of her other work alongside 826 founder and writer Dave Eggers at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Down Below

We sit vigil with candles clouds, embracing your memory silence
It becomes a river book of sadness ink that I cannot comprehend
The whisper song of voices dreams claiming you a dancer floater, just a dancer floater
You hurt me to my core where the center of the earth is
Your are not far near just down below above if I bothered to look down
You are forever with me; your stomach was all I knew
Darkness quiet, nine months, will you wait for me?
I will follow in your footsteps, I promise you
Even if it leads me to a valley of decay