WriterCoach Connection

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy


2320 Channing WayBerkeley, CA 94704 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

WriterCoach Connection connects trained, caring volunteer coaches with middle and high school students to engage, encourage and inspire them to think more critically and write more skillfully. Our vision is that all students discover the power and richness of their own voices and learn to communicate their ideas with clarity and confidence to enable them to participate successfully in personal and academic challenges, career options and community conversations.


WriterCoach Connection was founded in 2001 in Berkeley, CA. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary and to date, we have coached a total of 37,457 students and recruited and trained 4,477 dedicated volunteer coaches, averaging a yearly coaching corp of 250 volunteers.

Writing is a core literacy skill, and students who have the confidence to express their thoughts clearly, powerfully and skillfully are better equipped to navigate their academic, professional and personal journeys. Yet, many schools lack the resources to provide differentiated, individualized writing instruction. This is where WriterCoach Connection (WCC) comes in. Our ten-week critical thinking and writing program provides individualized coaching to middle school students attending underfunded public schools in Alameda and West Contra Costa counties at no cost to the students.

We intentionally partner with schools based on an equity model. Our sliding scale program fee is based on each school’s free and reduced price meal (FRPM) level to acknowledge the economic disparities from school to school. And to ensure equity and inclusion in the classroom, every student participates in the coaching program.


Would you recommend WriterCoach Connection?
5 reviews Write a review
by Jane S. (January 22, 2013)
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 (April 9, 2009)
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 (April 4, 2009)
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 (April 2, 2009)
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. (April 2, 2009)
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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