Second grader Ruwayda started Team Read this fall reading a year below grade level. She was very shy and quiet with her reading coach, high school student, Isatou.
When Ruwayda read, Isatou had to lean forward just to hear the words.
Four weeks into the program, Ruwayda is reading harder books and answering challenging questions from Isatou about her reading.
She also reads louder.
Students like Ruwayda across the city are showing improvement in their reading fluency, comprehension and vocabulary after the first month of one-on-one time with their coaches.
“She’s reading harder books, and she’s reading harder words,” Isatou says proudly of her student.
In particular, Isatou has been teaching Ruwayda about different vowel sounds, and prompting her to “chunk” the letter sounds in difficult words.
On a recent Wednesday, the pair was reading a book about Pocahontas in a classroom surrounded by other Team Read pairs.
Ruwayda summarized the book for her coach. “Pocahontas had a hard life. She was always working. She had no friends, and she didn’t get to go to school.”
At the other end of the table, student reader Kimhieng has already read 13 books with her reading coach, Melody. The pair has read many of these books multiple times to practice fluency. The pair has also completed more than a dozen vocabulary lists and phonics exercises.
“Melody helps me to say hard words,” says Kimhieng. “I like working with Melody!”
“Kim is working hard,” Melody notes.
Kimhieng barely notices the compliment; she’s already back reading her book.