Thanks to our wonderful sponsors and generous luncheon attendees, we raised over $120,000 to help 2nd and 3rd graders become great readers and provide meaningful jobs for local teens! On Thursday, March 2nd, over 250 Team Read supporters gathered together at The Westin Seattle Hotel to celebrate the accomplishments of our student readers and their teen reading coaches.
Mark Wright, King 5 news anchor and our emcee for the afternoon, kicked off the event with an introduction to Team Read’s unique tutoring program. He first became involved with Team Read when he produced a video about our work with Social Venture Partners, and he’s been a big fan ever since.
After a cute intro from some of our student readers, keynote speaker Nancy Pearl took the stage. She talked about her journey to becoming a reader and a librarian, and the experiences that shaped her along the way. “In the pages of a book, you should be able to both see yourself and lose yourself,” she said. Each attendee received a complimentary book from Nancy’s Book Lust series, courtesy of Sasquatch Books, and she even signed copies after the event!
Next up was Team Read Executive Director, Maureen Massey, who presented a memorable tribute to our 5-year coaches. These dedicated teens began tutoring in 8th grade and have continued to help young readers all through high school. As they stepped onto the stage, the coaches held up words that describe their many great attributes: Belief, Commitment, Caring, Dedication, Empathy, Focus, Hope, Love, Patience, Perseverance. They were then presented with a special certificate to commemorate their 5 years with Team Read, and received a standing ovation from the audience.
Site assistant, Keji Kurose, followed with a short video about the program and wonderful speech about his experience with Team Read. For as along as he can remember, Kenji has wanted to be a teacher. Team Read gave him the opportunity to help students who were under-performing, while gaining valuable work experience. “Today I can really ask myself, who leaned more – the students or me?” he said.
The event came to a close with a request for donations from Board members and former reading coaches, Tran Huynh and Kiersa Sanders.
It was a truly amazing afternoon and we’re so grateful to our event co-chairs, Donna Lou and Sondra Batbold, and all of the table captains for making it a success.