Our 2023 Annual Report  

July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023

At WriteBoston, we strive to reflect the qualities of the students and educators we serve. Daily acts to affirm community, and to lead with compassion by our teachers and teens give us courage to continue working toward educational justice in the face of nationwide attacks on inclusive literature, the dismantling of race-conscious admissions practices, and deficit thinking around learning loss post-pandemic.

We also courageously embraced a year of transition by opening to the opportunities present in changes in leadership and staffing. Before commencing on the next chapter of her life, Executive Director Sarah Poulter stewarded the change process by establishing a new compensation philosophy with staff. Centering equity and transparency, this philosophy ensures the retention of our staff as we build our mission-focused and values-aligned practices for the growth and impact of our organization.

Throughout it all, our guiding light was—and continues to be—our teens and teachers, who we know to be working toward a more equitable future. We seek to embody the values they inspired. Youth voice, empowering literacy, transformative learning, and justice are the core values that we activate with the students and educators we work with, the staff we hire, and the way we engage with our community.

In the last year, WriteBoston programming impacted...

78

students through afterschool and summer programming

234

educators through professional development, workshops, and coaching

9,100

estimated students through the ripple effect of programming

  Amplifying youth voice.  

Teens in Print

Youth voice is fundamental for inclusive communities. Teens in Print (TiP) makes space for young people to share their voices, using journalism to explore their identities, express their passions, constructively call out oppressive ideologies, and imagine possible futures. Teens publish their work online and call on readers of all ages to engage authentically with their ideas and expertise.

In the 2022-23 school year, TiP’s afterschool program returned to fully in-person programming. Middle and high schoolers from across Boston came together, connecting over their love of writing, art, or anime. They worked with mentors to hone their journalism and leadership skills. In the newsroom, students embody transformative learning and justice, building skills beyond the classroom and exploring the topics that make them who they are. 

Last year, our Teens in Print program…

  • Centered our students’ leadership. Read more.
  • Amplified youth voice through publication. Read more.
  • Welcomed 30 youth to a hybrid summer program. Read more.
two students arm in arm, standing on the deck of a ferry in Boston Harbor
students laughing together
students smiling in front of neon sign

 Impact + Highlights 

Teens in Print

204

articles published online at teensinprint.com

90%

of students felt more prepared for future jobs

84%

of students felt they could better express opinions and ideas

Spotlight:

TiP Seniors, Class of 2023

Watch to hear students' reflections on their time at TiP.

 Fostering empowering literacy. 

Professional Development and Coaching

Educational equity “means that every child receives whatever they need to develop their full academic and social potential and to thrive, every day” (Elena Aguilar, Coaching for Equity). Our partner educators work toward this vision in their classrooms and with their school communities, learning continually to foster conditions that enable all students to thrive.

WriteBoston coaching and professional development is one tool in educators’ belt to achieve this vision of educational equity. As a partner working across schools and districts, our coaches offer not only expertise in the realm of instruction and literacy but also serve as critical connectors and observers of what folks are doing well.

Last year, our Professional Development & Coaching program…

  • Made our commitments to equity more explicit. Read more.
  • Built supportive leadership into our coaching team. Read more.
  • Supported middle schoolers and educators of color in Worcester. Read more.
student and teacher working together at table
two students in sunglasses smiling at the camera
group smiling in front of mural

 Impact + Highlights 

Professional Development & Coaching

8

schools and organizations partnered with WriteBoston coaches

95%

of educators left workshops with actionable strategies or helpful information to use in their practice

80%

of educators reported that workshops helped them understand how to make their work more equitable

Spotlight:

Grading for Equity Summer Book Study

Click the image to learn more.

We'd like to thank...

  Our partners.  

Teens in Print partners

What's next?

  Moving forward.  

Over the last several years, WriteBoston has been engaged in becoming a more inclusive, diverse, and anti-racist organization. This work requires continuous learning and constant practice. Big changes this year included:

  • A leadership transition. Sarah Poulter’s journey as WriteBoston Executive Director culminated at the end of 2022. Her tenure was marked by WriteBoston’s transformation from a city project to an independent organization—and the initiation of our efforts to respond to the urgency of equity and justice. With support from the Board of Directors and Interim Director Jenny Leopold, we saw those efforts come to life with the hiring of Abdi Ali, Ed.D. as our new Executive Director—a classroom teacher, curriculum designer, and our first Black organizational leader. As a historically majority-white organization working largely in communities of color, diversifying our leadership is especially important and aligned to our  organizational values.
  • Commitment to continuous learning. With leadership from Dr. Ali and Reuben Howard, Director of Professional Learning & Partnerships, we continued our work to implement an equitable compensation policy and performance management system. Our staff initiated the 2023-24 school year with several new staff members and an organizational goal to make good on our commitments to continuous learning and collecting data that centers equity and inclusion.
  • The introduction of organizational goals. This year, we’re working on organizational, team, and individual goals. The coaching team aims to recognize and redress even the subtlest biases in their work with teachers, while the Teens in Print team aims to enhance the visibility of the program across the city. Our newly formed advancement team aims to support both team’s efforts through an inclusive knowledge management system that will help us share the story of our impact with diverse community members and partners.

At WriteBoston, we are socializing data inquiry, creating pathways for our teens and teachers to tell us about the effects of our programs so we serve their needs. We’re asking ourselves: What outcomes do we desire? How do we know we are making a difference? These questions are answered in community with our youth, their families and our educators.

  Our finances.  

The charts below share funds raised and used on operating activities during FY23 (unaudited). In addition, WriteBoston has restricted funds for use in FY24 and FY25 of $522K and Board designated reserves of $400K.

Revenue

Contributions & Grants | $824,997 64%
Fee for Service | $186,771 14.5%
In-Kind | $160,495 12.5%
Special Events, Net | $120,072 9%

Expenses

Program Services | $718,061 70%
Fundraising | $154,211 15%
General & Administrative | $98,440 15%

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 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 events, campaigns, and staff costs to maintain the resources to operate and grow our programs.