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  • Community Alliance for Learning Community Alliance for Learning

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Mission Statement

Clear writing and critical thinking are essential to students' success in school and in life. WriterCoach Connection™ (WCC) brings trained community volunteers into the classroom to give students at all levels of ability the one-on-one help they need to master these skills.

Description

Community Alliance for Learning (CAFL) recruits, trains, and organizes community volunteers to work one on one with middle school and high school students on their classroom writing assignments. Working in close collaboration with English teachers, CAFL's WriterCoach Connection program provides indiivudalized attention and feedback from caring adults to every student in the class, helping students develop their ideas, strengthen their skills, and build their confidence as writers.

From its inception in 2001, when 30 community volunteers worked with 180 students at Berkeley High School, the program has spread to eleven schools in four school districts (Berkeley, Albany, Oakland and West Contra Costa). Last year, approximately 700 trained community volunteers served 2,300 students in 86 English or English Language Developement classes, conducting more than 18,000 individual writing conferences. Over its fifteen year history, WriterCoach Connection has trained hundreds of community volunteers who have helped more than 25,000 students become more confident and competent writers and thinkers. Currently, additional principals and school communities in Oakland and West Contra Costa are asking to bring WriterCoach Connection to their schools.

Website

http://www.writercoachconnection.org

Contact

Reviews

Average Review 5 reviews

Would you recommend Community Alliance for Learning?

by Jane S. (2013-01-22 13:52:37.0)
I have been a WriterCoach volunteer at Fremont High School for two years, and will continue as long as they will have me. It has been a tremendously rewarding experience from a personal perspective, acquainting me with some amazing young people in my community. The volunteer force is comprised of men and women of all ages and is so well-run, I feel the time I give is not just appreciated, but respected. And, in my opinion, it is a surprisingly small time commitment compared to the work we accomplish.
by laura K. from Berkeley, CA (2009-04-09 11:03:02.0)
I have recently started with the Writer Coach program at Berkeley High. The students were all happy to see the coaches arrive to help them work on their writing assignments. Each student had their own coach who is trained to offer positive support and allow them to develop their own voice. This is a program that benefits the teacher, the students and the coaches-what could be better.
by Mary Ann B. from Oakland,, CA (2009-04-04 09:01:27.0)
Remember receiving your high school writing project with errors and suggestions in red? Pretty discouraging. At Writer Coach Connection you will meet with one student to work on one assignment at a time. You help the student capitalize on their strong points and dig deeper into their ideas and experiences. Hopefully your student is able to enjoy completing the final draft, knowing that their work has been validated by your interest and assistance.
by Kathleen K. from Berkeley, CA (2009-04-02 17:45:18.0)
Full disclosure: I'm on the organization's board. But I began as a volunteer, seven years ago, and have kept coming back because the experience has been so wonderful. The program is carefully structured and smoothly run, so each volunteer gets to go to work right away -- no waiting around, or being shuffled out of the teacher's way, as sometimes happens to school volunteers. In fact, the volunteers do ALL the work the organization exists to do; the tiny staff is just there to get volunteers, students, and teachers to the same place at the same time. The pleasure of watching a teenager realize that s/he really does have something to say, and can say it in writing, has kept me coming back all these years. (I wish I'd had a writing coach when I was in middle school!) And watching a surly 14-year-old say "thanks" to an old lady like me -- priceless. Kathy Kahn
by Robert M. (2009-04-02 07:06:07.0)
Working one-on-one with students to help them develop their writing skills, in a structured, well-run program that gives you tangible feedback of the positive effects of your efforts--it doesn't get any better than this regarding volunteer activities.
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