Youth Literacy Nonprofit 826 Valencia Expands into Tenderloin

Photo: 826 Valencia

826 Valencia is expanding.

The Mission district-based literacy nonprofit, which has promoted creative writing in students ages 6 to 18 for the past 13 years, secured a 15-year lease in the Tenderloin, the organization announced on Friday.

The Tenderloin is San Francisco's most densely populated neighborhood. It has a median household income of $23,804 and no social service programs that focus on writing.

Rent for this new space is reported to be 25% below market, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. 826 Valencia will get the first year in the new location rent free.

The organization hopes to open the Tenderloin branch in January 2016.

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"Any support to our community and our schools is very welcome," Kevin Etter, behavior support coach at Tenderloin Elementary School, says.

In addition to its educational programs, which have expanded to cities across the country and abroad, 826 Valencia is known for its whimsical approach to retail. Visitors in San Francisco can currently head to 826's famed Pirate storefront in the Mission to stock up on pirate supplies like messages in bottles, false whale teeth and mermaid bait. Proceeds from all sales go towards helping support 826's free storytelling, book-making and after-school programs.

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