I’m a sophomore at Garfield High School and this is my third year working with Team Read at Thurgood Marshall. My first experience with Team Read was in elementary school when I participated as a student reader. During that time, I developed a strong connection with my coach and that really helped me focus and stay engaged in reading. In a classroom environment, it’s difficult to build the same one-on-one connection as you would in Team Read.

Bao demonstrating a sight word activity


I came back to Team Read in 8th grade as a coach because I wanted to give back, but also to make an impact on the community. In my first year of coaching, I had a student who was more energetic than others. He came in every day with a totally different mood and always had LOTS on his mind. At first, it was hard for him to engage in the reading. However, as time went on, we were able to develop a stronger relationship and he became more enthusiastic about reading and coming to Team Read. We would talk about our day at the beginning of each session, which helped us relate to each other better. I also let him choose the books we read together.  I think the bond really showed when he requested to have me as a reading coach again the following year.

Team Read benefits students academically, but also provides coaches with different skills and knowledge they can use later in life. Team Read was a great first work experience for me. It gave me a sense of how employment works, and I learned more about time management and communication. These skills are applicable to every career path and are fundamental to a successful future.