Musician Neko Case is joining forces with 826 National to present the Mercury Cougar-Rama Muscle Car-'Splosion. Case is donating her classic 1967 automobile, featured on the cover of her album Middle Cyclone, for a drawing to benefit the organization's tutoring, writing, and publishing programs for students aged 6 to 18. The organization originated with 826 Valencia in San Francisco, and has grown to include centers in New York, Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Using a project-based teaching model, the educational programs emphasize creative collaboration and result in student ownership of final products such as newspapers, films, and books. Collectively the various centers worked with 24,000 students in 2010.
Case explains her motivation for aiding 826 National thusly:
Reading saved my life. As a kid, books sparked my imagination and gave me a place to look forward to outside of my bad situation and poverty. I did not go to good schools and never graduated high school (though I did end up getting my G.E.D. and graduated from university), but I still had books. Reading led me to writing and writing to music and art. It exploded my world of possibilities. All those disciplines are intertwined and become more powerful the more you use them together. You become fascinated by the world of learning and suddenly, there is nothing you can't do. They prop open the doorway to ANY path, be it the art of tying knots or astrophysics.Beginning on Monday, March 14, 2011, 826 National will draw a prize a day for five other lucky winners, and the car will be drawn on Friday, March 18, 2011. Tickets are available for $45 apiece (or two for $75, three for $100). Further details for the drawing are available on the web sites of Neko Case and 826 National.
826 gives young folks the opportunity to see their own works PUBLISHED, tangible and important. I want all young people to see the path illuminate before them as their self-worth grows. 826 is a positive AND challenging place for young minds from ALL different backgrounds. 826 also strives to raise the profile of teachers in America, and celebrate them as the superstars they are! I am so proud to be a part of this event, and I hope to do 826 proud with this drawing.