When I was out in LA last January, I was visiting my brother in Echo Park and stopped in what was disguised as an everyday gift shop. I walked in and found myself surrounded by novelty items, gadgets, and games that all appeared to be hand designed specifically for the store. I found myself navigating through the space and discovering more and more interesting things. As I made my way to the back, I discovered old milk coolers that were filled with collections of poetry writing and short stories. As I leafed through the pages, I read the name and age of young students all appearing to be from the community. To the left of these coolers was a glass door and when I peaked inside I saw a classroom. What I found out was the shop operated on donations that were used for after school writing workshops for students in grades 6-12. What an incredible idea and a great motivator for young people to write and be inspired!
The name of the place was 824 LA. It is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of free programming for students ages 6–18, designed to challenge and enchant while strengthening writing skills. Below is the link for more information.