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Writing Right - WriterCoach Connection

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

By Matt Larson


Shirley and kids

WriterCoach Connection believes that critical thinking and clear writing skills are essential for a young person to succeed in school, and far beyond. Established at Berkeley High School in 2001, WriterCoach Connection (WCC) has since been providing trained, volunteer writing coaches to middle schools and high schools in the East Bay.


Today, WCC collaborates with 10 schools, many of which are here in West Contra Costa County. Now coaching in El Sobrante, Richmond, El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, and Oakland, WCC provides more than 350 community volunteers every year to help students 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,” said WCC Board Chair Maureen Dixon. “We bring trained, caring adults into the classrooms to sit one-on-one, or in a very small group of students,” she added. “Every student in the classroom gets a writing coach, eliminating any kind of stigma or preferential treatment.”


After 18 years since the first session, WCC has now coached more than 33,500 students. “Students love it!” Maureen exclaimed. “Even students that are a little bit hesitant at first … to have an adult who is sincerely interested in what they have to say, and will help them to the best of their ability—they’ll respond,” she continued. “We’ve had students say, ‘You’re like a second parent to me;’ ‘You help me write a much better essay;’ and one student even said, ‘Dude, you should be an app.’”


The students approve, and the teachers