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Anne H.

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1 reviews

Review for Coachart Org, Santa Monica, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

CoachArt has made it incredibly easy for busy people to find time to become a mentor, teacher and comrade to kids of all ages who are eager to learn something new and make a new friend.

It's not easy to find large chunks of time on the weekends or during the work week to volunteer my time at most organizations, but CoachArt lets me put together my own lesson plan, set up my own schedule with the family with which I'm "matched," and the rest is up to me!

It also is wonderful to express and use talents and skills that I have since had to put on the back burner (painting, collaging, music) and pass it on to a kid who might not ever have had the opportunity to learn it otherwise. Even with some of the kids who are shy or take a bit more time/effort to open up, watching them change week to week makes me feel like I've really done something special for his or her life, and will always be remembered for it.

And possibly the best part: During each session, my "student" has the chance to hang out, chat, paint, draw and learn without any reference or thought toward his or her illness. There's no discussion of it, no incessant "are you OK?" questions, and certainly no opportunity to feel bummed out even for a second. The kids get to feel regular and "normal" and take a break from their everyday lives, and I imagine it's a powerful breath of fresh air for them.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I see all of the lives CoachArt has touched at the various gatherings, art shows and other events it hosts. Many of the volunteers maintain their friendships with the kids and their parents for years after their teaching session ended, and some of them continue on with the same student every semester! These kids build confidence in themselves as well as the new skill they've learned and it most definitely has a positive effect on the growth process, especially during adolescence.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I'd suggest more group events similar to some they've done in the past, such as pillow-making at a local craft store, but I believe they're ramping that up after this summer's Camp CoachArt is complete.

Role:  Volunteer & I taught various art skills to kids of several different age levels, and also act as an ambassador outside of the program to spread the word and to help grow the organization as much as I can. The first-ever Camp CoachArt takes place in July and I will be.