A crucial part of Team Read’s dual-impact mission is supporting teens and their development alongside young readers. This year we went all-in on programming for our coaches, hosting an ambitious series of 15 workshops and teen-led ambassador meetings from November through mid-June. Team Read staff strengthened our capacity for online forums and interactive workshops and used input from the coaches to generate the workshop topics and content.

The teens shared how much they valued connections with other Team Read coaches to share tips and experiences and hone their craft as tutors. “I loved the breakout rooms! I made some great connections with other Team Read coaches about our experience … I also liked that we were given a choice about what we wanted to focus on and how we wanted to work … very thoughtful and successful!” noted a coach in their workshop feedback. 

A session on tutoring skills was called “Strategies for Avoidance Behaviors.” Coaches discussed tips to refocus young readers when they were avoiding reading, including reading something fun, setting up challenges, and using small rewards.

This year Team Read also held several personal and professional development workshops to support our teen coaches as they made decisions about their future education and career paths. Workshop topics covered college application and preparation, interviewing, and understanding money, among others.

Additionally, an interactive Career Day Workshop featured Team Read alumni and other volunteers who shared insights about working in the technology, business, education, health, and non-profit/social change sectors. The Career Day workshop resonated with our teen coaches, many of whom are sorting out what path they want to pursue after high school.

As one of the coaches noted, “The most interesting part was hearing from panelists about what made them go into their careers, which had to do a lot with passion. And being able to hear their advice for their high school selves, for us, and for college.”

Thanks to our broad and talented Team Read community, we were able to bring this experience to our coach workshops this year. Our deep gratitude to the 43 professionals and Team Read alumni who participated for sharing your insights and expertise. Our coaches really enjoyed hearing from alums about how they have used their Team Read experience, as well as how they made decisions about their careers.

An average of 32 coaches attended each workshop, with some events drawing up to 53 students, and others providing a more intimate learning setting with 10-15 participants. This was a great learning year for Team Read, and we’ve received amazing feedback from our coaches that we’ll use to innovate and strengthen our offerings for next year.

Featured photo, top: Team Read Coaches at a Coaches’ session