Volunteering in Schools

Archived Responses: 

Sept 2005

Why do so many WriterCoach Connection volunteers return each year to coach teens? Become a writing coach and see why diverse parent and community volunteers find 1 to 2 hours per week in their hectic schedules to make a difference in the public schools. You don't need to be a writer or teacher. Join a writing coach team at a Berkeley middle school or at Berkeley or Albany High and enjoy the satisfaction of helping kids gain confidence, improve skills, complete assignments and succeed.

WCC pairs trained volunteers with students to help them master writing and critical thinking skills. Coaches commit to a regular, 1 or 2-hour per week assignment and meet during the school day to work with students in their English/history classes. Last year WCC coaches helped 2,500 students in 90 classes.

To become a coach, register now for one of our fall trainings and learn step-by-step methods to coach students, including your own.

For information or to register, see our website: www.writercoachconnection.org (go to Volunteer) 510-524-2319

In the words of one coach, The glint in the eye when you strike a chord is worth it all.

Lynn Mueller writercoachconnect AT yahoo.com

I'd like to second Lynn Mueller's pitch for the Writer Coach Connection and add a few observations that might help people decide if this is for them.

This is the most satisfying volunteer work I've done in the Berkeley schools.

On a practical level, a number of elements make it different:

one, you receive training and support from experienced staff and feedback from your clients, the students, in an organized, professional way;

two, the teachers whose classes you coach are also trained, so there is buy-in from both sides;

and three, the coaching is total immersion-every kid gets coaching so that no one is singled out as a ''dummy'' or ''gifted.''

On the less tangible level, you get to enjoy the extreme privilege of one-on-one communication with a student in a wonderfully neutral capacity-you are neither parent, teacher, sibling, or peer. It allows engagement on a totally different level for both of you.