What has Team Read done to support reading pairs since program sites closed?

From mid-March, Team Read’s normal operations were suspended along with school and library closures. Our staff quickly reached out to teen coaches and parents of student readers to see how we could continue to support them during this ambiguous time. Based on what they said would be most helpful, we facilitated ways for reading pairs to stay in touch and developed at-home activities:

  • Asked coaches to write letters or record a quick video to say hello and encourage their students to keep reading!
  • Created an easy-to-use game guide to share with families
  • Distributed leveled fluency packets for student readers (electronically and by post), developed specifically for them by our district literacy partners. Teen coaches created sharable videos to demonstrate that fluency is all about reading how you speak.
  • Sent a bi-weekly newsletter to teen coaches that included tips and tools for tutoring, college/career navigation, self-care, updates on Team Read, and volunteer opportunities to support student readers

Will there be a summer program?

Team Read is revising our summer programming in light of continued COVID-19 closures. We know our work is even more vital now, as many students are losing academic progress gained during the school year and will continue to fall behind this summer without support. That’s why Team Read is working closely with our steadfast partners to create effective and efficient solutions that allow us to continue providing reading tutoring for young students and jobs for teens, while adhering to public health guidelines.

Team Read will provide virtual tutoring sessions in conjunction with Summer of Learning programs in Seattle, and for 2nd and 3rd grades in Highline who were in the after school program or on the wait list. We anticipate hiring 30-55 reading coaches between the two districts this summer to work one:one with 100 student readers. In addition, Team Read will have three paid interns helping with research and implementation of the program. Job opportunities for young people are limited during this economic crisis and we remain committed to offering as many paid teen positions as possible this summer and next school year.

What’s next?

Continued distancing requirements and limitations on gatherings are shaping our discussions of how we adapt, while also ensuring we’re fully prepared when schools and libraries return to more normal access. A few core truths are driving our decisions:

  • Reading gaps are not narrowing while buildings are closed – the COVID slide will be significant.
  • Trained teen coaches can be deployed effectively for impactful, one-to-one reading practice, which has shown to be the most effective way to close gaps for early grade readers.
  • The social-emotional connection of our tutoring pairs is powerful and can help to overcome the impacts of COVID isolation, for both sets of kids.
  • Families are struggling to manage and sustain all the demands this new normal presents, from home-schooling to economic survival.

Team Read is also paying attention to the lessons, insights and innovations evolving nationwide on how to best meet student needs now, both on and off-line.  We’re reviewing Team Read’s stated values and principles, using them to guide us in how we can most effectively support both our readers and our important partnerships with educators.

Resources for Student Readers

Reading games
Below are some fun games that families can play with their student to build reading skills. Click on the appropriate language below to access and print the PDF.

Amharic | Chinese | English | Somali | Spanish | Vietnamese 


Online access to books

Read-a-loud videos

  • Harry Potter at Home: Watch familiar faces read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – including Daniel Radcliffe, Eddie Redmayne & Stephen Fry:
  • Read-Along with PBS Kids: To encourage family engagement and a love of reading at home, PBS KIDS offers families a place to come together and read along with fan-favorites on YouTube.
  • Storyline Online: The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Daytime Emmy®-nominated and award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online®, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.

Resources for Reading Coaches

E-Newsletter
Program Assistants Shaunice (Seattle) and Alicia (Highline) created bi-weekly newsletters for teen coaches. Click below to read past issues:

Book Recommendations
Looking for something to read this summer? Check out these great book recommendations from fellow teen coaches!