Welcome to the Board of Directors' presentation on 826 Hohman, a neighborhood writing center. 826 Hohman offers thousands of area students free after-school tutoring and free writing workshops. It also offers in-school support for local teachers who would like assistance with special projects in their classrooms. Currently in development, 826 Hohman has attracted significant funding for its capital costs, but it relies on the continued generosity from local business leaders like you to meet additional funding needs. We hope that you'll enjoy this presentation and share our excitement about the center and its mission.
We will begin this presentation with an overview of the center's history, mission, services, and location.
826 Hohman is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that offers a variety of free programs and services throughout the school year and summer months. These services include drop-in tutoring, field trips, specialized workshops, in-school assistance, and extensive student publishing. 826 Hohman is a chapter of 826 National, an umbrella organization that works toward duplicating San Francisco's successful 826 Valencia program in writing centers across the country. 826 Valencia was founded by the author Dave Eggers, who wrote the bestselling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.. Eggers began conversing with English teachers in the San Francisco area after becoming more involved with his younger brother's education subsequent to their parents' death. During these conversations, he realized that if a one-on-one tutoring option was available, most students' writing would improve by leaps and bounds. 826 Hohman hopes to accomplish this goal with its Hammond students, ages 6-18, who need help with writing assignments, homework, English language learning, and creative writing projects. Conveniently located in a downtown Hammond retail space, the center embodies the principles of universal design, offering many elements that make it accessible to all students, including those who need assistive devices to use the center's services.
With drastic cuts to funding for public education and rapidly expanding class sizes, many public schools do not have the resources to provide its students with the one-on-one attention they need. 826 Hohman offers this one-on-one attention during after-school hours at the center and during school hours in classrooms. In-school tutoring is available by request for teachers, who provide the center with the scope of the project, the time, and the school and classroom location, and then are sent as many tutors as needed by 826 Hohman. 826 Hohman has already recruited over 200 volunteer tutors that come from a broad range of backgrounds, including filmmaking, law, journalism, publishing, and education. In addition, many of our tutors are talented college students. All of our tutors are highly knowledgeable and undergo extensive volunteer training.
In addition, 826 Hohman offers free evening and weekend workshops that focus on a variety of different types of fiction and non-fiction writing, as well as instruction in forensics and cartooning. It also offers field trips for entire classes from grades K-12. These classes come in with their teachers during the school day for a variety of different workshops. One of the workshops the center will offer is modeled after 826 Valencia’s popular Storytelling and Bookbinding workshop. With the help of 826 Hohman volunteers, students write a story as a group. While they create characters and plot points, a professional artist works on illustrations. When the story is finished, 826 Hohman sends it to a coil bindery for printing, and the students ultimately receive a finished volume of their work.
826 Hohman is dedicated to fostering creativity, intelligence, and a love for writing and self-expression among all children. The center wants our students to discover that writing is fun, and we feel that the best way to do this is to tap into the energy of the local community and the resources of the 826 centers across the country.
Now that you know a little bit more about 826 Hohman, we'd like to tell you more about the learners who will use the center.
The center serves the male and female youths of Hammond. These students are African-American, Latino, and Caucasian, and they come from middle-income and low-income homes. Most of these students are native English speakers, but some are learning English as a second language. Many of our students' families cannot afford professional tutoring or educational software and training for this software, so the center provides these services free of charge.
The center's Board of Directors have tried to keep the learning styles of our students in mind when designing the center. These students are primarily concrete, fact-oriented learners (rather than abstract, theory-oriented learners). Many of them are either visual learners or verbal learners. The center has purchased several markerboards that tutors can use to illustrate their explanations for visual learners. Some of our students are active learners, and we have tried to design activities that take into account their needs as well as the needs of reflective learners. For example, some of our workshops will offer kinesthetic and game-playing elements to create an atmosphere where creativity can emerge for active learners.
826 Hohman believes that learners learn best in an environment that is comfortable and attractive. Consequently, the design of the space adheres to the principles of universal design, a term that refers to broad-spectrum architectural planning ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to both the able-bodied and the physically disabled.
Like the other writing centers throughout the 826 National organization, 826 Hohman is located in an urban storefront space in order to remain easily accessible to children who rely on public transportation.
Due to its shopping district location, the space consists of one continuous area that is partitioned by shelving and space to create separate work areas. Designed for collaboration between local children and professional adults in the community and for accessibility to individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities, the space features carefully selected furniture and an impressive array of assistive devices and software
In keeping with the principles of universal design, the front entrance and bathrooms are ADA-compliant. The central space features an arrangement of seven square tables that seat four people each. Smaller square tables were selected instead of larger rectangular tables because the learning space is collaborative in nature. Therefore, the furniture for this space should accommodate small groups of learners (Trekles, 2009). The square tables can easily be pushed together to accommodate larger groups during workshops. The chairs come in two sizes, child and adult, to accommodate both older and younger children. All tables are spaced to allow for comfortable movement, with wide wheelchair-accessible aisles.
In order to foster a “home-away-from–home” feeling, a warm color palette and several pieces of mission-style furniture were selected for the space.
In keeping with the discovery (by the designers of Duke University's Perkins Library) that many students prefer a more industrial space when focusing on a product like a term paper (Lombardi & Wall, 2006), a row of computer desks sits along the edge of one wall for those students who wish to work on writing projects. Five compact, all-in-one computers, each equipped with a wireless keyboard and optical mouse, sit on top of five sturdy, height-adjustable desks that offer plenty of space for workers to spread out. The desk chairs are comfortable and ergonomic as well, and the overhead lighting can be controlled using a dimmer switch. Here, students can use the Internet for research, or they can analyze their writing using the center's writing software programs.
A SmartBoard breaks up the row of computer desks, and a laptop and mobile laptop cart are available to transform the space into a presentation room. The instructor's mobile workstation is also equipped with assistive technologies, and carpeting and an external microphone ensure the quality of presentation acoustics. The small, movable tables that occupy the tutoring space were selected to adapt to the presentation function of the space; square tables can be placed in a variety of combinations or even moved aside to allow for chairs to be placed in theater-like rows.
Studies have shown that spaces that catalyze social interaction and impromptu conversations contribute to personal and professional growth. In keeping with this principle, 826 Hohman features a comfortable lounging area that is separated from the main tutoring area by a row of library bookshelves. Here, students and adults can sit and read or chat on the sofa or one of the two armchairs. An area rug, end tables, and electric fireplace give the space a &quot;homey&quot; feel, which is crucial for students who may seek out the writing center as a respite from grimmer surroundings. Earth-toned walls covered with paintings by local artists and framed writing by local students add to the warmth of the environment. Finally, The bathrooms and staff offices are located at the far end of the writing center, behind two doorways. The staff office contains a workspace for the two staff members that includes comfortable desks and chairs, laptop computers, a separate printer and scanner, a photocopier, and a small lounge area. Here in the office, the staff members can get down to the busy work of running the writing center when they are not out front with the public.
Next, we'll review the center's technology and technology budget.
As stated earlier, the center provides secure, wireless Internet and desktop computers for student use. All students, regardless of ability level, will find the computers' word-processing functions and Internet access useful for their writing needs. In addition, emerging writers may use Inspiration to create concept maps for their writing projects and Writers Workbench software to analyze their drafts. Writers Workbench provides feedback on the organization, development, and clarity of a piece of writing. It can prompt students to change passive verbs to active verbs and to identify overuse of vague vocabulary. Storybase software is also provided as an aid for creative writers. Finally, the center features a SmartBoard and an instructor's laptop workstation for writing workshops
What makes this writing center so special is its abundance of assistive devices and software for students with additional mobility, visual, hearing and cognitive needs. Students or presenters with special mobility considerations will find the following devices and software useful when using computers at the writing center: SAM Joystick, SAM Trackball, Big Keys keyboard, Touchpad, and Intellikeys. Devices such as these are easier to manipulate than traditional keyboards and mice. Dragon Naturally Speaking and headpointers are also provided for learners who have difficulty typing on a keyboard.
Students or presenters with special visual needs will find these devices and software useful for viewing information on computers,and for note taking: ZoomText Magnifier/Reader, a portable magnifier, color contrast analyzer, Braille translation software, text-to-speech scanner, Braille embosser, Braille-n-Speak, and Braille writing slates and guides.
Students or presenters with special hearing needs will find the following devices and software useful for using computers, interacting with tutors, and participating in workshops: sign language translator, headset amplifiers, MAGpie captioning software, and Interpretype, which is a pre-programmed laptop style computer device which has the ability to send and display typed messages to other ITY™ devices or a computer. Once you log on, you have the ability to have a conversation by simply reading and typing personal messages. Students with special cognitive needs benefit from an array of devices that supplement printed or spoken materials, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, MAGpie captioning software, Premier Predictor Pro software, reading pens, and talking word processors. These students benefit from having information presented to them in both audio and visual formats.
The budget for the center's furniture and technology is as follows: Approximately $18,000 is allocated for furniture, including ergonomic chairs and desks; Approximately $10,600 is allocated for hardware; About $3500 is budgeted for non-assistive software; and About $31,600 is budgeted for assisistive technology, which includes software and devices. As you can see, the bulk of the center's budget is allocated for assistive technology. We believe that a center that provides quality education for the community should be committed to creating an environment that is accessible for all people, not just the strongest and most able-bodied. We are grateful for the generous donors that have allowed us to realize this goal, and we hope our reputation grows so that as many people as possible take advantage of our center.
Finally, I would like to discuss 826 Hohman's Acceptable Use Policies, which outline the rights and responsibilities of the technology users of our organization. In order to ensure that users have a safe, non-threatening environment in which they can benefit from the Center's resources, the Center created an Acceptable Use Policy to prevent harm to individual users, equipment, and the reputation of the organization.
The AUP outlines User Rights and Responsibilities to provide guidelines for computer use, consumption of food and drink, and personal laptop use. The Center provides restrictions on social networking and e-mail use in order to protect its users from bullying and harassment and to comply with the Internet Children's Safety Act.
826 Hohman acknowledges its own responsibilities in ensuring a safe, productive environment for its technology users. It is committed to educating its students and volunteers about the Acceptable Use Policy, supervising its users, providing filtering protection, and enforcing its policies in a fair and equitable manner.
Thank you so much for your participation in our presentation. We appreciate the contributions that you have made and continue to make to our organization. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at 1-800-MY-HOHMAN.
<ul><li>A non-profit writing center </li></ul><ul><li>A Chapter of 826 National </li></ul><ul><li>Serving youths ages 6-18 </li></ul><ul><li>Located in a downtown Hammond retail space </li></ul><ul><li>Embodies Universal Design principles </li></ul>
<ul><li>Tutoring Services : </li></ul><ul><li>After-school tutoring </li></ul><ul><li>In-school support </li></ul><ul><li>Professionals and college students </li></ul><ul><li>All tutors undergo </li></ul><ul><li>extensive volunteer training </li></ul>
<ul><li>Additional Services : </li></ul><ul><li>Evening Writing Workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Weekend Writing Workshops </li></ul><ul><li>School Field Trips </li></ul><ul><li>The center will be staffed by an executive director and a program director </li></ul>
<ul><li>Mission & Values : </li></ul><ul><li>Fostering creativity , intelligence , and a love for writing and self-expression among all children </li></ul><ul><li>Building ties with the local community and with the 826 National network </li></ul>
<ul><li>Male and female </li></ul><ul><li>African-American, Latino, and Caucasian </li></ul><ul><li>Low-income to middle-income </li></ul>
<ul><li>Concrete , fact-oriented (or sensing) learners </li></ul><ul><li>Combination of Visual and verbal learners </li></ul><ul><li>Combination of active and reflective learners </li></ul><ul><li>Sequential Learners </li></ul>
<ul><li>User Rights and Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Food and Drink </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Laptops </li></ul><ul><li>Network Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Harassment </li></ul><ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright Violations </li></ul>
<ul><li>826 Hohman Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Education and Training </li></ul><ul><li>Supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Filtering </li></ul><ul><li>Enforcement </li></ul>
Lomas, C. & Oblinger, D.G. (2006). Student practices and their impact on learning spaces. In D. Oblinger (Ed.) Learning Spaces. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE: Retrieved November 12, 2010 from http://www.educause.edu/learningspaces . Lombardi, M.M. & Wall, T.B. (2006). Duke University: Perkins Library. In D. Oblinger (Ed.) Learning Spaces. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE: Retrieved November 12, 2010 from http://www.educause.edu/learningspaces . Trekles, A. (2009). Putting people first: Human issues in instructional technology. Zelda 23 Publishing.
For more information, please contact us at 1-800-MY-HOHMAN.