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GETTING STARTED

Finding Your First Match

Log in to CoachArt Connect with the email that you used for registration.

  1. CoachArt Connect will allow you to search students locally, or see all available students ranked by how long they have been waiting for a match.
  2. You can choose the student who is the best fit for you and hit the “request student” button. You will then be prompted to input which time/day works best with your schedule.
  3. The family will receive an automated text message from CoachArt asking them to select their preferred time
  4. Once the family picks a time, we will send you a text message that you will need to respond “YES” to in order to finalize the match.
  5. We will notify you if the family is not available for the match, and you can request another student

Please email support@coachart.org if you have any questions and we will be happy to guide you along the way! 

Before Your First Lesson

Congratulations on matching with a student! You’ll receive an introduction email with the family’s complete contact information including email address, phone number, zoom link and/or the location of the lessons. The start date is typically two weeks after your initial request, but you can adjust it with the family if needed.

Here are the steps to take before your first lesson:

  1. Give the family a call or respond to the intro email we send. To prepare your lessons, you’ll want to ask them a few questions:
  • What kinds of materials/equipment does your child have for the lessons?
  • Are there any special limitations or personality quirks to be aware of?
  • What skill level is your child at in this subject area?
  • Of course, it’s also important to share things about yourself! You could tell them about why you got involved with CoachArt, what you are most looking forward to, and any fun fact about how you learned your skills.
  1. Prepare your lesson. This website is a great resource; it contains tips for age-appropriate lesson plans, fun icebreakers, ideas for celebrations, and tools for working with kids with a variety of physical or cognitive differences. The Plan 1:1 Lessons tab is a great place to start! Your local Program Manager can also give you lesson planning advice if needed.
  2. Remember to communicate. If you need to cancel or reschedule for any reason, please contact the family first! If it’s urgent, please call or text them (busy parents may not notice an email message quickly). If you need to make significant changes to your volunteer schedule, contact your Program Manager as well.
  3. If you’ve been matched with a non-English-speaking family, and you’re not fluent in their language, you might find these tips useful.

Expenses and Reimbursement

CoachArt will cover the cost of the supplies for you and your student. There are two options for ordering materials:

  • REIMBURSEMENT: You can purchase the materials and have them shipped to your student’s home (or bring them if you are meeting in-person) and CoachArt will reimburse you.
    • Reimbursement Option 1:
      • Please save a copy of this document, fill it out, attach your receipts and your copy of the reimbursement form to an email addressed to coachart@bill.com
      • Make sure to include your email address and mailing address on the form. 
      • We’ll process your reimbursement using bill.com and send an email invitation to sign up for e-payment so you can get a direct deposit. 
      • You can also choose to receive a hard check instead, which would go to your mailing address, but note, it does take up to one week longer than e-payment
    • Reimbursement Option 2
      1. If you have a gmail account, you can upload your receipts and submit for reimbursement using this nifty form.
  • WE CAN ORDER THE MATERIALS FOR YOU: If you are unable to come out of pocket to purchase the materials, please contact your Program Manager with links (preferably using amazon.com) of what you want and we will order them for you!

Please see below to identify your budget for all 8 weeks of lessons. If you are teaching online lessons, you can double this amount as you will need supplies for yourself and your student(s).

ACTIVITY EXPENSE GUIDELINE

Category 1 student 2 students 3 students 4 students
Music $22 $28 $38 $48
Culinary Arts $180 $210 $240 $270
Visual Arts $85 $90 $95 $100
Athletics $50 $55 $60 $65 

ACTIVITY EXPENSE GUIDELINE

Music:

  • Student 1 – $22
  • Student 2 – $28
  • Student 3 – $28
  • Student 4 – $48

Culinary Arts:

  • Student 1 – $180
  • Student 2 – $210
  • Student 3 – $240
  • Student 4 – $270

Visual Arts:

  • Student 1 – $85
  • Student 2 – $90
  • Student 3 – $95
  • Student 4 – $100

Athletics:

  • Student 1 – $50
  • Student 2 – $55
  • Student 3 – $60
  • Student 4 – $65
  • Culinary Arts – If you or your family prefers not to come out of pocket and get reimbursed, we can provide an Instacart gift certificate for groceries
  • Music – The amount listed above is for sheet music etc. Please let your Program Manager know if your student needs an instrument and we will order it for them.

Setting the Tone

Tips for Your First Meeting

A warm and supportive presence communicates more than words. Introduce yourself to your students and families, prepare students for activities, communicate clearly, listen empathetically and non-judgmentally, and don’t be shy about asking the parent/guardian or your Program Manager for help or advice. Use your creativity to make this experience unique to you and your strengths!

Diversity of Population, Abilities and Behaviors

Our students are diverse and are going to respond differently to coaches and to activities. They may be tired or hyper from the effects of medications; they may be shy because you’re a stranger; or they may not talk much due to a developmental delay. It’s important to be flexible, patient, and adaptable to ensure that the kids feel comfortable participating in the activity. We recommend you always have an easy back up activity 🙂

LALA: Look, Ask, Listen, Adapt

Students are going to respond in varied ways to activities. Take time to look at how they respond by reading cues. Ask students questions about the activity to gauge their interest and what they might want to participate in that day. Respectfully listen to what students say and respond by adapting your lesson plan to their needs.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality and privacy is critical. Children and families have a legal right to expect that their personal information will be kept confidential. Unlawful use or disclosure of information may expose CoachArt to civil and criminal liability.

When in doubt, email support@coachart.org

Signing up for a Club or Special Event

Coachart periodically offers volunteer opportunities at our local clubs, hospital workshops, and special events. Clubs are typically 1-2 hours a week for 4-6 weeks. Hospital workshops or special events are typically 1-4 hours on a Saturday. Here’s how you can get involved:

Watch your email inbox: Your Program Manager will email you when a new group volunteer opportunity becomes available. Make sure to save their email address in your address book so that the messages don’t end up in your spam folder.

Click the sign-up button: The sign-up button in the email message will take you to a short form where you can enter your name and contact information. A Program Manager will then reach out to you to confirm that you are registered and send you any additional information.

Mark your calendar: Make sure you are ready and available for your volunteer commitment. If you are unable to make it for any reason, please try to give more than 24 hours notice so that we can find a replacement. Repeated no-shows will result in removal from CoachArt volunteer opportunities entirely.

Have ideas for your own club? Contact groupprograms@coachart.org to share your idea!

Your Commitment

For the families we serve, a visit from a CoachArt volunteer may be a high point in a difficult week. It’s a relief to them to be able to rely on you. So before you commit to initiating a match with a new student, please consider the following:

  • Manage your Commitments. Being reliable does not mean saying yes to everyone. People tend to slip on their commitments if they overestimate their available free time. Being reliable means using discretion when you make commitments.
  • Proactively Communicate. Avoid surprises. If you make a commitment that you can’t meet because of unforeseen circumstances, let others know as soon as possible.
  • Respect Time — Yours and Others’. Being on time may not always be convenient, but when you’re late, you send an upsetting message: “my time is more valuable than yours.”

Share Your Experience

Questions or Concerns?

If you encounter any problems in your in-home lesson or any group activity, please contact support@coachart.org immediately. Don’t hesitate to contact them if any of the following issues come up:

  • Family not communicating or repeatedly missing lessons
  • Safety concerns for the child or yourself
  • Disagreements with the parent or head coach of a group lesson
  • Any issues that you do not feel comfortable addressing alone

CoachArt is here to support you in every step of your volunteer journey. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it!

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