On October 12, an audience of nearly 100 people joined Team Read at The Seattle Public Library for a screening of the documentary feature The Right to Read. The film takes a look at how reading has been taught throughout the last several decades, and how kids across America have fallen through the cracks due to schools using flawed and unproven methods. The film also shares the stories of those who are on a mission to bring change and end America’s literacy crisis.

The range of emotions felt in the room as the film played was palpable. We heard sighs of resignation, gasps of recognition, laughter, and shouts of optimism. It’s clear that the Team Read community is fired up and committed to making sure all kids have the tools they need to become great readers.

After the film, Team Read Executive Director Melissa Pailthorp was joined by Kathleen Vasquez of Seattle Public Schools, Ayan Adem from The Seattle Public Library, and Team Read’s Program Director, Jeanette Eisenberg. This panel of experts talked about the latest research in how the brain learns to read, and how this has shaped the curriculum used in our local schools. They also spoke about the resources available and the needs we see in our communities. After lively questions and comments from the audience, there was a consensus in the room that when it comes to improving reading rates here in King County, we all have a role to play. It’s our hope that everyone went home motivated and inspired to advocate for our youth.

We’re grateful to The Seattle Public Library and The Seattle Public Library Foundation for their partnership in bringing this event together.