The mission is simple: To support overburdened teachers and connect caring adults with underserved students who need help developing their writing skills. Since 826 Valencia was formed in 2002, that mission has evolved into creating fun, quirky-themed, brick-and-mortar tutoring, and writing centers across the United States, which has inspired similar education centers around the world. In San Francisco, BCCI Construction has been the build partner to help 826 Valencia with its vision for expansion.
BCCI president and CEO Michael Scribner galvanized the local construction community to pitch in and help build two of the nonprofit’s writing centers, the Tenderloin Center in 2016 and, most recently, the Mission Bay location, which opened last year. Located on the ground level of an affordable housing complex, the Mission Bay Center includes Woodland Creature Outfitters, a retail storefront for the community, and an enchanted-for-est-themed writing and tutoring lab for students ages 8 to 18. The center also serves schools in the nearby Bayview and Potrero neighborhoods.
The five-month build-out was a labor of love, with all of the team members—including WRNS Studio, graphics designer Office, Tipping Structural Engineers, and many local subcontractors and artists—working together collaboratively to realize 826 Valencia’s vision, connecting learning to fantasy, creativity, and play.
“The rewarding part is the ability to give back to the community and see the results,” Michael Scribner says. “With a project like 826, you see the children in the space and the benefits that they’re getting, and you feel like you’ve actually accomplished something to help support the cause in an area that really needs it.”
BCCI’s internal community service committee, Community Builders, continues to support 826 Valencia’s mission by volunteering at its centers periodically to work one-on-one with students on writing skills and story development.