Frequently Asked Questions

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What types of illnesses do CoachArt children have?

CoachArt children have chronic, physical illnesses and conditions that require ongoing treatment. These are children living with arthritis, cancer, cerebral palsy, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, kidney failure, Spina Bifida, craniofacial anomalies and various orthopedic disabilities, among other conditions. Not all chronic illnesses are accompanied by physical symptoms, and many times CoachArt kids look and act just like their healthy siblings. All chronically ill children who participate in our program receive a medical consent from their doctor before participating in any CoachArt lesson so that we can be aware of any special needs or limitations.

Who can participate in CoachArt activities?

CoachArt lessons are for children living with a chronic illness and/or their siblings, ages 5-18. Children must be able to work independently with a volunteer arts or athletics instructors. Siblings may participate in the program even if the chronically ill child in their family does not, and family income is not a consideration for eligibility. Children with behavioral, mental and brain development disorders do not qualify for CoachArt unless they also have an underlying chronic illness.  If you have questions about a child’s eligibility, please contact the CoachArt office or email info@coachart.org.

What type of activities are offered?

CoachArt volunteers teach lessons in music, tennis, painting, yoga, photography, golf, dance, cooking and more. All lesson options will be discussed during your initial orientation. Class options change frequently, so we recommend children list several choices on their application and CoachArt will make every effort to match the classes of their choice.

Are there any costs involved?

The CoachArt program is completely free for families! All materials needed for the lessons will be provided. We ask our coaches to cover the cost of their background check ($18) but a hardship waiver is available.

How do I enroll my child in the program?

Each student must complete an online or hard copy application before participating in the program (apply online in English or Spanish). Children with a chronic illness must also have their doctor sign a consent form. After CoachArt receives the completed application, we’ll send you a monthly e-newsletter with sign-ups for group lessons and we’ll send you text messages with in-home lesson opportunities.

Where and when do lessons take place?

CoachArt lessons take place in the communities where children live. In Home Lessons can be a great opportunity for immunocompromised students or for those who would benefit from individual attention. Program Partner Scholarships take place in partnering arts, music, dance or athletic centers. In these locations, CoachArt students can participate with other children without being identified as a patient or sibling. Group Lessons and Clubs take place in community locations depending on the activity.  Each CoachArt lesson is approximately one hour long, and can occur during the week or on weekends. CoachArt requires a guardian to be on-site during the lessons.

How do I become a volunteer?

All prospective volunteers complete an online application and attend an online training where they learn about health and safety requirements of the program and are given tips for how to best work with CoachArt kids. Volunteers are required to pass a background check before they are matched in a lesson with a CoachArt kid. All regular CoachArt volunteers must be 18 years of age or older to participate in the program; find out more on our Volunteer page. If you’re between the ages of 14 and 17, you can participate in our Junior Volunteer program; find out more here.

Do I need special training or qualifications to volunteer?

Volunteers do not need to be experts and no formal training is required.  We ask that volunteers possess enough knowledge to teach an eight-week session of beginner-level lessons and feel confident enough to provide an activity without support.  That’s easier than you might think — we have lesson plans, activity ideas, templates and other resources you can use.

How much of a time commitment is required?

Our core program requires a 8 week commitment of one hour a week – but we also offer opportunities for shorter durations.  It is extremely important that volunteers sign up for opportunities they can commit to, so CoachArt staff will work with you to determine the best fit.  Please email volunteer@coachart.org to learn more.

How can my company get involved with CoachArt?

CoachArt offers exciting partnerships with companies who want to give back to their local community.  Corporate groups have hosted supply drives, raised funds to sponsor specific CoachArt activities, and coordinated one day corporate volunteer group activities at the workplace or at a community venue.  For more information about these and other opportunities please email social@coachart.org

 

How soon can my child start lessons?

CoachArt matches students with volunteers for 8 weeks of lessons and applications are accepted year-round. There are also one day activities and shorter-duration events offered throughout the year.

How does CoachArt find lessons for my child?

CoachArt has a number of talented volunteers who teach lessons in a variety of activities. We also have partnerships with quality arts and athletics facilities. Our goal is to place each child in a class where they will feel confident and successful. We rely upon input from parents to help find the best lesson for their child. Based on the students interest, we make every effort to match students with the class of their choice.

What if my child is not matched with a volunteer?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to find a lesson for every student in the program. For those we do not find a lesson for, we offer the opportunity to participate in one of our ongoing special events or one day activities. To improve the chances of identifying a lesson for your child, please respond to CoachArt promptly as opportunities may pass if not secured immediately.

What does CoachArt look for in a background check?

CoachArt runs a national criminal file search to verify that a prospective volunteer has no prior criminal convictions, is not a sex offender and does not have any outstanding warrants for arrest. The background checks we conduct through Verified Volunteers include ID confirmation and Advanced Criminal History Record Locator Search, which consists of Government Watch List Search, OFAC, DOJ Sex Offender, County Criminal Search, Current County Residence Search, Nationwide Search, and Social Security Trace. This background check must be cleared before a volunteer is matched in a lesson with a CoachArt kid. Information related to a volunteer’s employment or credit history does not appear.

Still have questions? Contact us!

Questions about volunteering?

If you have questions about volunteering, contact us at volunteer@coachart.org
or 213-736-2850.

Events Calendar

See our Events Calendar for upcoming arts/athletics clinics, workshops and special events.

Questions about our programs?

If you have questions about our programs or the application process, contact us at programs@coachart.org.

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