During the challenges of the pandemic when online learning became our new norm, Highline’s Hazel Valley Elementary’s young readers flourished. How did we do this and give our community’s teens access to paid work experience? That’s where Team Read came in. 

Team Read’s program pairs second and third grade students who are reading at least one year below grade level with trained teen reading coaches employed to provide one-on-one tutoring support. This dual-impact model helps young students become confident readers ready for academic success and provides teens access to a meaningful paid job to develop work and life skills that support their transition into adulthood.

At Hazel Valley Elementary, 25-30 students benefit each year from this partnership, igniting a newfound passion for reading alongside local high school coaches from nearby Highline and Evergreen high schools. Kellie Bassen, whose granddaughter participated in the program, attests to its transformative impact, stating:

“My child was struggling to the point she avoided reading at all. Thanks to Team Read her skills have improved dramatically and she enjoys reading. She wanted to stay in the program forever because it made reading into a positive experience.”

For high school students-turned-coaches, the experience can foster empathy, patience, and leadership—all in-demand skills. 

For educators who strive to support every student but often face competing priorities in and out of the classroom, Team Read is a game-changer. It requires minimal effort from the school’s end, thanks to Team Read’s aligned instructional strategies and comprehensive support.

Team Read exemplifies the power of community partnerships in driving positive change. As we continue to navigate the aftermath of disrupted learning, Team Read can play a crucial role in improving foundational literacy skills and supporting social-emotional development. 

Learn how your school can partner with Team Read:


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