To empower children and youth through creative writing.

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Address: 3301 37th Avenue Room 14
Sacramento, CA 95824
County or Parish: Sacramento
Primary NTEE: Arts,Culture & Humanities 
Sub NTEE: Arts Education 
Executive Director: Ian Hadley
Contact Email: justin@916ink.org
Primary Phone: 916-826-7323
Website: http://www.916ink.org
Since 2011, 916 Ink has led the effort to empower children and youth in Sacramento through a unique creative writing program that increases literacy rates, self-confidence, academic engagement, empathy, and communication skills. Participants in our workshops learn to love the written word and are transformed into published authors in the process. We have published more than 100 books, serving more than 4,000 young authors in the Sacramento region.

Data shows that a 916 Ink workshop increases self confidence, heals trauma, and teaches empathy, listening, and literacy skills. Our safe environment provides youth a place for expression and teaches them to "take the yes," a motto created to help youth silence their inner critics.

916 Ink's curriculum asks students to reflect upon their own "hero's journey," which is a mode of storytelling meant to explore how one individual can play different roles in life. By encouraging students to write about their own journey, students begin to see the different facets of their identity and can create a story that positions them as the hero of their own lives.

Students enrolled in our school-site programming will work on writing fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction with 916 Ink staff and volunteers. All our staff and volunteers go through extensive training and a formalized criminal background check. Our volunteers are often writers, artists, and educators. During the program, your student(s) will choose 1-2 pieces of theirs to have published in an anthology of student work. Each student will receive two free copies of their book and will be invited to a book release party where their achievements are celebrated. These parties are a chance to show off the outstanding work they've produced to all of their friends and family, and a majority of our young authors bravely read their work aloud to a room full of peers, friends and family who boisterously cheer them on as soon as they finish.

By the end of each high school "Find Your Voice" program (14-week program), each student will have:
- Completed 21 hours of literary arts instruction.
- Polished up to five pieces of creative work for publication.
- Become a published author in a real book.
- Feel empowered to tell their story and change their narrative for better outcomes.
Our greatest need without a doubt is financial support that will give us the ability to provide more workshops in more schools. We work very hard to piece together funding for each of our programs from grants, foundations, and occasionally from the school or program site itself. However because of our efforts to reach children and youth with the highest need, often the ability of these organizations to fund programming of their own is very limited. Your donation will allow us to reach more at risk and under-resourced youth who we otherwise couldn't serve, thank you for taking the time to consider becoming a supporter!
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Program - General Program Gap Funding: Funding of programs where part of the funding has been found through grants and other sources, but 100% of the program cost has not yet been funded.
  2. Funding: Unrestricted - Capacity Building: Believe it or not we publish hundreds of children each year with a staff of only six people and out of one small office in a formerly shuttered elementary school. We are stretched thin and capacity building dollars are what allows us to explore new possibilities and develop new and innovative ways to accomplish our mission and reach more kids.
  3. Funding: Program - Mustard Seed School Program: One of our favorite places to work is the Loaves and Fishes Mustard Seed School for children experiencing homelessness. We have tailored a unique way to deliver our method to children who are in a unique environment, delivering their publication to them within just days of a program's completion. Unfortunately, we don't have a funder to do this program again in 2018, can you help?
  4. Funding: Unrestricted - Imaginarium Field Trips: The Imaginarium is a palace of creativity that combines the aesthetics of Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka, and 916 Ink's unique brand into a space that inspires children and youth to express themselves like never before. While inside, kids explore their inner voice and discover that others are excited to hear what they have to say. From the Paper Mache trees with roots made of books, to the tactile prompt wall, to the blue sky ceiling, every inch of the space is designed to inspire. In 2016 we began funding field trips for high need elementary schools who lack other arts based programs so that their students could come out and write with us for a day, and receive a published "zine" with their name on it as the end result. These zines ensure that each child never forgets their joyful experience, that one day when writing became fun and exciting instead of confusing and intimidating. The need for these field trips is overwhelming and the cost is remarkably inexpensive to reach so many students at once, with your support we can reach more.
  5. Other - Please Describe - Writers Garden: One of our signature projects in 2017 was the installation of the "Writers Garden" on the Maple Neighborhood Campus where our offices and the Imaginarium are housed. Revived from a forgotten community garden that was all chain link fence, crumbling planter beds, and dead roots; the Writers Garden is now a beautiful space where butterflies flutter over the tile mosaic and kids can sit on the book bench, smell lavender plants, or maybe take a bite out of the community vegetable garden. We hope to add more creative elements like reading gnomes and a fence with fruit trees growing in between the posts, as well as fund the maintenance costs to keep it green and thriving for all of our student and neighborhood visitors.
"916 Ink is Sacramento at its best - we are home-grown, having tailored a one-of-a-kind program for Sacramento children and youth. Nobody does what 916 Ink does in the region and that is why more than 25 schools, 18 nonprofits, and many others have partnered with us to help Sacramento youth achieve success.

Since 2011, 916 Ink has published over 3,000 young authors in more than 100 publications which are sold online and in book stores. The value of strong written communication skills can never be under-estimated because everyone has to write!

916 Ink was founded by a group of concerned teachers, librarians, and writers in 2010 because of the dismal illiteracy rates in our region, which at the time indicated that nearly 2/3rds of 4th graders in the region didn't read at grade level (according the CA Dept. of Education or CDP). Currently, CDP uses the "California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) to assess a student's ability to read and write at grade level. The 2016 English Language Arts/Literacy state test score results from CAASPP, for economically-challenged students from grades three-eleven in Sacramento County, showed the following:
- 41% of low-income students are NOT reading or writing at grade level.
- 27% of low-income students nearly met the standard for reading and writing at grade level.
- 24% of low-income students met the standard for reading and writing at grade level.
- 9% of low-income students exceeded the standard for reading and writing at grade level.

Those scores are not good enough. Nearly half of our low-income youth are not even meeting the standards set forth by educational experts. Students who are not proficient in reading and writing for their grade level are more likely to drop out of school, interface with the juvenile justice system, become a teen parent, and participate in the welfare system as an adult. Luckily, we are changing the trajectory of Sacramento's children's futures by making them viable and ready candidates for future and current opportunities because they have stellar communication skills and confidence in their ability to participate in all that life has to offer.

We hope you will join us as a dedicated partner and invest in the future of Sacramento's young people."

Kind regards,
Ian Hadley
Executive Director
916 Ink