Kennedy High students to receive free one-on-one writing instruction starting Friday

Kennedy High students to receive free one-on-one writing instruction starting Friday.

A new program at Kennedy High that has community volunteers providing free, one-one-one writing instruction to students is starting Friday.

The highly-touted WriterCoach Connection program recruits and trains community volunteers — including parents, lawyers, university students, retired educators and writers  — to help students on their writing assignments and help them gain confidence in the craft.

The program, which has received support from teachers and the West Contra Costa Unified School District, began its third year at Richmond High last week, as we reported last month. We learned just last week that the start date for the Kennedy High program is Friday.

Fifty-five volunteers are expected to guide Kennedy High 10th graders in the Law Academy and another English class.

Another 100 volunteers are supporting Richmond High teachers and students in the Engineering and Law Academies and English Language Development (ELD) classrooms.

Kathleen Hallam, the writing coach coordinator for Kennedy High, said she is excited about what’s to come given Richmond’s “goldmine of people who want to contribute to their community.”

“As someone who has been coordinating coaching at a number of schools for a long time, I am very impressed with and excited by the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteers who will be starting up this Friday,” Hallam said.

Hallam also praised Kennedy’s teachers for giving up valuable curriculum time to give their students the one-on-one writing support.

More than 150 trained volunteers, including parents, lawyers, college students, retired educators, writers and other professionals, are expected to devote more than 1,000 hours to Richmond students this year, program officials said.

WriterCoach Connection has served more than 25,000 middle and high school students at 11 East Bay schools since 2001, making it the largest continuing Bay Area program dedicated to school writing support.

For additional information about WriterCoach Connection, visit the organization’s website at


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