Student Readers

“In 2018, 51% of students in South King County did not meet standards on the 4th Grade English Language Arts assessment.” (Source: Road Map Project) That’s where Team Read comes in. Our structured curriculum with one-on-one tutoring enables young students to develop essential reading skills for academic success. Each year, hundreds of second and third graders who are reading below grade level proficiency become confident, joyful readers by participating in Team Read.

“Compared to other programs, [Team Read] is more a diagnostic, strategic, and intentional intervention. The ratio is incredible with one-to-one tutoring.” – Principal

  • 100% of principals report Team Read is a high-quality program for their schools.
  • 71% of students who started the year below grade level made one or more grade levels of reading growth after participating in the program.
  • 87% of families agree that Team Read helped their child learn to read.


Teen Reading Coaches

Teen participation in the workforce has steadily declined over the past decade, particularly for kids from low-income and minority communities. Team Read provides teens with the opportunity to gain valuable work skills and the satisfaction of changing the lives of children in their community, while also acquiring tangible benefits such as pay, college savings, or service hours.

“This experience has been empowering… and it created my path towards education. Now I want to be a teacher. I have grown more patient, more communicative, and I enjoy working with youth.” – Reading Coach

  • 100% of site assistants and 85% of reading coaches indicated their roles helped them develop skills they can use in other work settings, now and in the future
  • 99% of parents say Team Read gave their teen the chance to make a difference
  • 73% of site assistants and 38% of reading coaches say Team Read made them consider teaching as a profession



Evaluating our impact and continuously improving our program are imperatives built into Team Read’s organizational DNA. Since 1998, we’ve hired independent evaluators to help us design and implement annual program reviews.

We use district academic reading assessment data and feedback from key program stakeholders—reading coaches, referring teachers, principals, and parents of both readers and coaches—to assess reading growth and attitudes towards reading of our second and third graders. Surveys and focus groups help measure how our teen reading coaches have benefited.

Winifred Todd

“This program is more than reading. It is about community building by providing youth the opportunity to give back to their community and see themselves as mentors to young students.”

elementary school principal

Kris Barnes

“I learned that I like working with kids a lot, that I can adapt to new situations, and that I can have a positive impact on someone’s life.”


Kathleen Vasquez

“Simply put, Team Read is smart. By pairing caring and committed middle school and high school students with second- and third-graders needing reading support, Team Read reinforces key elements of reading for young readers while providing young adults with an opportunity to be teachers, leaders, and problem-solvers.”

Kathleen Vasquez

Reading and Social Studies Program Manager,
Seattle Public Schools
Tanya Anderson

“The whole concept of teens helping younger children to enjoy reading is brilliant; the tangible success of strong reading achievement by struggling young readers is laudable. I saw no other program (in 28 years as a children’s librarian) that was as innovative or creative in harnessing the power of young people to make a difference in their own communities.”

diane cowles

Team Read Volunteer and Former Children’s Librarian
Margaret Woley

“Knowing that I’m helping a kid throughout elementary school … so they won’t be behind or they’ll at least be at pace with the rest of the class, makes me think,
‘wow I really did that!’ It sticks with you for a while.”

jasmyn M.

Teen Site Assistant
Tran Meyers

“As a former Team Read reading coach, I felt so much pride in watching my student develop confidence in his reading ability. Team Read creates an environment that allows both tutors and young students to make a meaningful impact in each other’s lives through reading.”

Tran Meyers

Team Read Alumna and Former Board Member
Greg Imel

“For my daughter, being independent, managing her schedule and communication, taking responsibility for her job in its entirety, has been a great personal development tool.”

family member of a reading coach

Team Read Program Evaluation Highlights, 2013–14

“My Team Read students were the final push that swayed me into the field of education. Their playful energy is contagious and being able to witness the amount of tangible growth they’ve made is incredibly rewarding!

Diem N.

Former Team Read Coach
Team Read Program Evaluation Highlights, 2013–14

“We have a lot of kids who are reading below grade level. If they don’t have the foundational skills, they’re really at a disadvantage. It’s very important in elementary grades to try to close that gap. My former student, Alynna, made tremendous gains in Team Read. She’s really grown on multiple levels, not just with reading.”

Ms. Carlisle

2nd Grade Teacher,
Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary

Success Stories

With the support of their reading coaches, as they read more books and learn more words, our students learn to enjoy reading and dive into new books with enthusiasm and joy. All stakeholders—families, principals, referring teachers and site coordinators—report Team Read student readers gain increased enjoyment from reading. Approximately 85% of site coordinators, referring teachers and families report that their child or student likes reading more because of Team Read.