Teens Changing Kid’s Lives

Teens bring energy, creativity, compassion, and commitment to their work as the reading coaches of our second- and third-graders. As coaches, the teens work one-on-one with the students by:

  • Modeling great reading with read-alouds
  • Growing students’ vocabulary through work on phonics and recognizable “sight words”
  • Asking questions that encourage reading comprehension
  • Playing literacy games
  • Developing fluency through reading “just right” books
  • Building friendships that boost confidence
  • Sharing their love of reading

Former Team Read reading coach Will Hunt said it best, “Team Read is a place where teens are valued because they are teens.”

Watch Team Read Video

Hundreds of teens from Seattle’s public and private middle and high schools apply and are accepted each year to be reading coaches.  As a tutor, each teen attends training then meets their students for the first time in October.  Among the applicants each year are students who were in Team Read in elementary school.  They apply because their reading coaches inspired them, cared about them, listened to them, and helped them become great readers.


Why You Should be a Reading Coach

Our reading coaches tell us that they gain as much from the program as their students do, including:

  • Learning how to teach young children basic reading skills
  • Building job skills, such as communication, patience, responsibility, and the ability to work with all kinds of people
  • Developing patience, self-confidence, and a sense of accomplishment
  • Building their work and college resumes
  • Being considered for promotions — each year we promote outstanding reading coaches to the role of site assistant. Site assistants help our site coordinators manage and supervise the program.
  • Receiving hourly pay (minimum wage) or saving money for college or earning service learning hours

On request, Team Read staff members provide letters of recommendation for scholarship applications, college applications, and job references. Apply here

“For 91% of coaches and site assistants, Team Read showed them how to work with different kinds of people and gave them skills they can use in other work now or in the future.”

Team Read Program Evaluation Highlights, 2013-14

MEM Consultants

Reading Coach Qualifications

Coaches must possess the following qualifications:

Have a strong interest in working with children

  • Minimum 2.7 GPA*  (grades reviewed in system)
  • Good attendance record (no more than 7 unexcused absences)
  • 3 signed references by teachers and school personnel
  • Spoken and written language competency in English
  • Parent permission (unless 18 years old)
  • If choosing hourly pay, show proof of eligibility to work
  • Satisfactorily complete application, including essay (essay is reviewed for: A. response and answer to the question and B. use of correct grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and completeness)
  • Satisfactorily complete required training

* Exceptions may be made for students with an A or B in Language Arts


Apply to Be a Reading Coach

Follow the directions on the form, including obtaining your parent’s permission and signatures. At this time, only students attending school in a Seattle public or private school, or Evergreen and Mt. Rainier High School in Highline can apply. Click on the application links below to download.

We are not currently accepting applications. Please check back in the fall for our 2019-20 program.

Seattle: Contact Shaunice Wilson (after-school program) or Rose Nakano (summer program)
Highline: Contact Alicia Rodriguez


How We Select Reading Coaches

When we receive your application we will review it to make sure it’s complete. (Incomplete applications will be mailed back to applicants.)

We then check your application against our qualification requirements, read your essay and do a Washington State Patrol background check.

If there are no issues, we will send you a letter inviting you to attend training. In some instances, we may notify applicants of trainings by email or by phone.

If you do not meet our qualifications we will send you a letter notifying you that you have not been accepted at this time. The most common reasons for applicants to be declined are poor attendance and low GPA.  You may re-apply.  Many applicants qualify the next time they apply.

Questions? Contact Bill Eisele.


Reading Coach Training

All Team Read coaches are required to attend an initial two-hour training session, as well as three hours of additional training at the elementary school where you are assigned. These trainings teach you how to work with a young student, and how to help your student develop skills and become a better reader.

You must successfully complete training in order to be eligible as a tutor – which means mastering the content and demonstrating your ability to be professional and responsible.

Your acceptance letter will tell you the date, time and location of your training.

At the initial training you will sign up for the elementary schools where you’d like to tutor.

You will participate in 2 additional training sessions at your assigned elementary school.

Questions? Contact Bill Eisele.