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Creativity Breeding Creativity

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A little post on something that inspires me.

My husband Ben is currently working toward a master’s degree in Elementary Education. He spends his evenings in a University classroom learning education policy and teaching methods, and his days in a third-grade classroom trying his best to implement those high-level ideas to a noisy group of eight-year-olds.

I, on the other hand, spend much of my time in the solitary company of a pad of paper, crafting the perfect headline or finding the just the right verb for a client’s ad.

Each of us has a tremendous amount of respect for the work that the other does between nine and five, which is why we both find 826 National to be such an awesome organization. The mission of this non-profit is to offer free tutoring and workshops for kids (particularly those from inner-city environments) to help them with expository and creative writing. They have chapters in eight metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, New York and Chicago, and have garnered support from best-selling authors such as David Sedaris and Zadie Smith.

What I love most about 826 National is how they infuse all of their outward facing promotions with the same creativity that they inspire from their kids. Each chapter has its own hysterical and absurdly themed “supply store”, which sells cheap, homemade novelties to help fund the organization. San Francisco has a Pirate Supply Store </LINK>, NYC has a SuperHero Supply Store, and Chicago (my personal favorite) has The Boring Store, which most certainly is not a Secret Agent Supply Store in disguise. In addition to clever writing, all of the stores, the items they sell and their websites use beautiful design and artwork, too. No comic sans or crayon font here, kids.

Maybe one day, Louisville can get its very own chapter of 826 to help infuse some creativity and thoughtful writing into the lives of the Derby City youth. I can think of two very enthusiastic volunteers they’d already have lined up!

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