GETTING STARTED

Finding Your First Match

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

  1. CoachArt Connect will automatically show you a list of students who share your interest(s) and are near your home zip code.
  2. To match with a student, click the orange “request student” button. You will then be prompted to input which time/day works best with your schedule.
  3. A text thread will then be sent to the family so they can confirm a time that works for them. You both will need to respond with a “yes” text when prompted in order to finalize the match.

Please let your regional Program Manager know if you have any questions and they will be happy to guide you along the way!

Los Angeles Program Manager – liz@coachart.org
San Diego Program Manager – emily@coachart.org
San Francisco/Bay Area Program Manager – desiree@coachart.org

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, and 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! 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. Coach Corner (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 limitations. 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 local 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 has the ability to cover most costs associated with materials used for lessons by issuing expense advances and/or reimbursements for coaches on pre-approved purchases. For the variety of activities offered by our coaches, CoachArt has established a standard expense guideline. Please follow these guidelines to ensure that we are able to continue our programs in a cost-effective manner.

Please see below to identify your budget for all 8 weeks of lessons.

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 – Baking, cooking, cake or food decorating, etc.
  • Music – If needed, an instrument may be purchased or will be provided by CoachArt or by students parents. Budget is for sheet music if needed etc…
  • Visual Arts – Drawing, painting, sewing, photography, computer graphics, jewelry making, beading, knitting, make-up artistry, ceramics, etc.
  • Athletics – Dance, yoga, basketball, tennis, swimming, soccer, etc.

FOR REIMBURSEMENT: Reimbursements and/or advances are processed monthly. See instructions here on how to process your reimbursement.

Setting the Tone

Developing Activities and Gathering Materials

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, prevent and control unruly behavior, and know when and how to seek help. Use your creativity to make this experience unique to you and your strengths! Be mindful that when you first meet your student you may need to adjust your plan to accommodate their needs. You can access additional resources online via our Coach Corner or by asking a CoachArt staff member.

We encourage you to gather the materials you will need for your lesson at a retail store.

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; they may reject you completely; 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.

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.

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.

When in doubt, contact your regional program manager via text, phone, or email. Our business hours are Monday-Friday 9am-6pm. If you are unsure who your program manager is, please email programs@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 your local Program Manager to see what options are available for you!

San Diego Club Program Manager – emily@coachart.org
Los Angeles Club Program Manager – erick@coachart.org
San Francisco/Bay Area Club Program Manager – desiree@coachart.org

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.”

Questions or Concerns?

If you encounter any problems in your in-home lesson or any group activity, please contact your Program Manager 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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