Tucked inside of the Tivoli theatre building between Z-Burger and Giant, is the hidden treasure of 826DC and Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply Company. Step inside and you’ll find the District’s only illusionarium and de-lux haberdashery that stocks everything a budding magician needs to embark on a path to mastery, from Stage Fright Antidote to their Micro Escapes (for starting a career in escapology). 

More importantly, every purchase makes real magic happen– in the writing center beyond the secret door.

Not your average tutoring center, 826DC promotes a passion for writing by beginning with a magical and creative space serving ages 6-18. They work one-on-one with students, teaching them how to express themselves through the power of words. 

Serving our community for over 10 years, they offer programs that are both challenging and enjoyable and that ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, and confidently in his or her individual voice. 

By offering drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-school programs, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications, students learn to create amazing and wonderful worlds for themselves. Putting pencil to paper, students develop important writing skills by letting their imagination run wild; 826DC doesn’t just teach our kids, they inspire.

Each 826DC serves at least 3,000 students across ALL wards of the city, and in Columbia Heights, they extend beyond Tivoli directly serving our local school, Harriet Tubman Elementary, where they provide ongoing support for the Reading All Stars literacy program. 

This one-on-one literacy and enrichment program brings together volunteers and students to build writing and reading skills together, as well as a deeper love for the written word, all while working closely with school administrators and teachers to reinforce and build on classroom learning.

All of this amazing work is even more magical because it is offered for FREE. But, none of this would be possible without support from the community and from a dedicated corps of volunteers. 

If you are looking to volunteer, foster a strong sense of creativity, and build up kids in our community…this is a great opportunity! The first step to getting involved is to fill out a Volunteer Application here on their websiteThe highest need for support is with programs that happen during school hours—weekdays between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. 

There are opportunities for volunteers to work directly with students through one-on-one writing mentorship, and also behind the scenes, from publishing support to greeting visitors in our store. The volunteers with 826DC build meaningful relationships with students and help them gain the skills to tell their unique stories with confidence.

On May 30, 826DC will release their latest student publication: a powerful and timely collection of social justice poetry titled Spit Fire, written by students from the SEED Public Charter School of Washington, DC. All are welcome to join at the free event to celebrate the book’s release, and young authors will be on hand to read excerpts and autograph their newly published work. 

If you miss the kick-off, you can also attend one of the more local readings on June 6th, 7-9PM at Petworth Citizen, or June 14th, 5:30-7PM at Busboys & Poets on 14th Street. Included below is the book’s introduction poem as a preview—written collaboratively by the student contributors and a nice snapshot of the rest of the book’s content.

Telephone: (202) 525-1074

Office 10AM-6:00PM (MON-FRI)
Storefront 12PM–6PM (MON-FRI) &  10:00AM-6PM (SAT)

Bonus: Intro Poem from

Christine Miller

Christine Miller

Christine Miller is the ANC Commissioner for 1A05 (Columbia Heights). If you’d like to highlight a community organization or a community member, please contact Christine directly at 1A05@anc.dc.gov.
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