Graphic of green and yellow triangles stacked to create a large wave pattern

  Making learning engaging.  

WriteBoston Annual Report 2021

All students deserve a high-quality education. That means learning opportunities that are engaging, accessible—enjoyable. At WriteBoston, we believe that writing is one critical piece of the education puzzle.

This year, we met immense challenges—not least of which was moving all of our programming online. But we also learned that we could maintain relationships and make an impact from afar.

Though we were 100% virtual, the heart of our work remained the same: cultivating deep learning through writing, and keeping students at the center of their own learning journeys.

In the last year, WriteBoston programming impacted...


students through afterschool & summer programming, college support, workshops, & classroom partnerships


educators through professional development, coaching, workshops, & consulting


estimated students through the ripple effects of programming

In 2021, we prioritized...

  Making learning enjoyable.  

Teens in Print

Each student experienced the pandemic differently. We knew we couldn’t address all of their concerns: the distance from peers, the abrupt shift to virtual learning, and the mental and physical health ramifications of a worldwide pandemic. But we did want to maintain a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space where students could connect and express themselves. 

So, Teens in Print (TiP) needed to make some changes to our afterschool and summer program:

  • We built community with a virtual platform. Read more.
  • We continued promoting college and career readiness. Read more.
  • We expanded the writing genres that students could choose from. Read more.
  • We visited Zoom classrooms. Read more.
  • We launched the Writing through the Distance website. Read more.
Graphic: photo of smiling student with pink and red triangles in a sunburst pattern

With Teens in Print, our students weighed in on virtual learning, unpacked the impacts of systemic racism, described newly discovered quarantine hobbies, and shared their personal wins and losses of the past year. They valued the freedom to write about their passions and the connections they made with peers and writing mentors. And the writing they produced this year was impressive: honest, funny, thought-provoking, and authentic to this new generation.

Last year's impact & highlights


articles published on


students engaged across all TiP programming


of students learned skills that help them in school

Click the image to read more.

In 2021, we prioritized...

  Making learning accessible.  

Professional Development & Coaching

Virtual schooling made one thing abundantly clear: educators needed to learn new skills quickly to engage students online. The urgency was new, but continual learning is an everyday part of the teaching profession. Teachers—like lawyers, healthcare workers, technicians—constantly work to improve their practice.

Our coaching team needed to be flexible to help educators adapt. There were many issues beyond our control—unpredictable school schedules, disparities in students’ technology access, and ongoing uncertainty. But we could attend to concerns shared by many educators: planning during a time of uncertainty and change, and keeping students engaged in virtual and hybrid classrooms. So, our coaching team adapted:

  • We sustained relationships with school partners. Read more.
  • We launched a free summer and school year workshop series. Read more.
  • We partnered creatively to extend learning outside the classroom. Read more.
  • We championed literacy by supporting the whole learning experience. Read more.
  • We listened to educators and responded to their needs. Read more.
Graphic: photo of a smiling teacher with green and yellow triangles in a sunburst pattern

Our partner educators appreciated the interactivity and responsiveness of our professional development, the encouragement and expertise shared by our coaches, and the space to connect with peers from across districts for mutual support and collaboration.

Last year's impact & highlights 


educators served through professional development, coaching, workshops, & partnerships


schools & 13 districts throughout Massachusetts represented by partner teachers


of educators left workshops or coaching with strategies to use in their practice

Click the image to read more.
  Our finances  

The following charts represent funds raised and used on operating activities during FY21. In addition, WriteBoston has restricted funds for use in FY22 and FY23 of $542,841 and Board designated reserves of $276K. WriteBoston received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in FY20 of $135,768 and was fully forgiven in FY21.


Contributions & Grants | $952,044 61%
Fee for Service | $190,875 12%
In-Kind | $135,000 9%
Special Events | $140,284 9%
Other Income (Primarily PPP Loan) | $136,118 9%


Program Services | $718,061 74%
Fundraising | $154,211 16%
General & Administrative | $98,440 10%

WriteBoston practices careful oversight and stewardship of our financial resources. While expenses are presented by function, each category is core to delivering on our mission. Program services include the staffing necessary to plan, run, and evaluate programming, as well as direct material costs ranging from subscriptions to online education tools to stipends for student writers. General and administrative expenses include accounting, audit costs, IT, insurance, and staff time associated with managing the organization effectively and efficiently. Fundraising includes event and campaign costs, as well as staff time, to maintain resources to operate and grow programming.

In FY21, the gifts of our community supported level staffing and responsive services in a period of deep uncertainty. Community investment enabled us to devote resources to hiring an external Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant in FY21, and to invest in human resources support and staffing a hybrid Teens in Print program in FY22.

What's next?

  Moving forward.  

In our 2020 racial justice statement, WriteBoston committed to building a more equitable, anti-racist organization. This year, our staff and board completed a 9-month consultancy with Strategy Matters to create a short-term plan to better align our work with organizational values and goals. This plan includes:

  • A programmatic revisioning process. With input from staff and stakeholders, we’ll discuss where our mission, vision, and programmatic work align with our values and where they fall short. We’ll pursue all needed changes to ensure that our work is reflective of our organizational values and goals.
  • New goals for fundraising and communications. We’ll implement community-centric fundraising practices and create learning opportunities for supporters that illuminate the complexities of public education.
  • More support for employees. With the guideposts of transparency and inclusivity, we’ll explore and implement equitable practices for performance reviews and compensation. We’ll create spaces to adequately address harm and share feedback.

We’re also going back to schools. Our coaches are continuing to provide professional development and coaching to educators this school year. We’re maintaining our partnerships in the Boston Public Schools and launching a new collaboration with the Framingham Public Schools.

Meanwhile, our Teens in Print team is pausing programming during the fall to evaluate the changes they’ve made in the last year. We’ll bring together the best parts of virtual and in-person programming, with the goal of launching a hybrid afterschool program in January 2022.

A lot remains uncertain about this coming year. No matter what, we’ll work alongside students and teachers—whatever the format—as they engage with learning in meaningful and holistic ways. In all the shifts we hope to make going forward, we commit to keeping students and educators at the center, and to keep listening, iterating, and improving.

We'd like to thank...

  Our collaborators.  

Click through the tabs to read more.

Were grateful for the many individuals and organizations who lent their time and expertise. Volunteers listed below include panelists who participated in our summer program, committee members, and Teens in Print editors. We’d also like to thank the many unlisted readers who participated in the Rising Voices Awards this year.

In-Kind Partners
Boston Business Journal
The Boston Globe
The CyberLaw Clinic

Jeff Allen
Kathy Allen
Paris Alston
Maren Anderson
Elebetel F. Assefa
Andrea Asuaje
Doug Banks
Sebastian Barreveld
Leigh Belanger
Arthur Bom Conselho
Nutan Chandra
Alison Connell
Katie DeBonville
Gabriella Diplan
Caitlin Dodge

Daylana Ervin-Parker
Maureen N. Franco
Seana Fuller
Marcela García
Yolanda Gonzalez
Andrea Goodman
Sean Tamarun Goudy
Sean Hagan
LaTasha Harris
Jarrett Hill
Cynthia Holcombe
Caroline Hon
Nicole Iannucci
Aju John
Marion Jones
Tomisi Kikama
Michael Lambert
Taylor M. LaSane
Lisa Lawler
Cindy Layton
Celeste Lee

Jenny Leopold
Lisa Leung-Tat
Masha Leyfer
York Lo
Kimberly Hensle Lowrance
Terry Marroquin
Cynthia Mohr
Manny Montes
Shalaya Morissette
May Moy
Bhanuja Nagore
Clinton Nguyen
Adetola Olatunji
Rich Pierre
Joni Lee Rossi
Betty Southwick
Lucy Stroock
Ronna Tarlow
David Taylor
Ruth Weinstein

  Thank you  

to our community of students, educators, partners, and supporters.

Go to WriteBoston home