It’s the first day of the Team Read Summer Program, but Rebecca and Jay’len are already talking a mile a minute.

Rebecca, a high school junior, and Jay’len, a third-grader this coming fall, were paired in Team Read this past school year. Together, the pair made big strides in reading, and they were excited to have the chance to work together again.

“I want to read a lot this summer!” said Jay’len.

“I’m excited to work with Jay’len again,” Rebecca said with a big smile. “I want to build off the work we were doing during the school year.” In particular, Rebecca plans to work on focus and comprehension strategies, to help Jay’len read the more challenging books that have sparked his interest.

“Jay’len likes to read about Clifford the Big Red Dog, football … any sports really … and barbershops,” Rebecca noted about her Team Read student.

“It’s true,” Jay’len said. “I like barbershops a lot!”

Rebecca and Jay’len are one of 60 reading pairs teamed at Seattle Public Libraries this summer as part of the SPL-Team Read partnership, now in its seventh year. Students and families receive free reading support twice per week, for two hours each session, through the end of July, and teens have a summer employment opportunity that continues to build their teaching skills.

On the first day of the Team Read Summer Program at a local library in the Central District, Jay’len was thrilled to learn that every student would go home with a free book, courtesy of SPL. Jay’len picked a junior novel version of one of his favorite movies, Coco.

“It’s so good!” Jay’len said, clutching his new book. Seconds later, he and Rebecca were hard at work reading and laughing.