Become a Coach
Reading Seed’s vision is that all children in Pima County will read at or above grade level by the end of third grade. It only takes one hour per week to be a volunteer Reading Coach, and the benefits to students and our community are tremendous.
What is a Reading Coach?
Reading Coaches work with students in kindergarten through third grade who are reading below grade level. Their job is to make reading fun so students become independent readers who are excited about what they can learn! We ask that coaches meet weekly with a minimum of two students for 30 minutes each during the school year. Reading Coaches work in eight school districts in Pima County.
Working professionals can also volunteer as coaches, using their lunch hours or participating in Mission Manor Family Education Nights in the Sunnyside School District. Coaches provide fun, interactive literacy activities for students at Mission Manor on Tuesday evenings from 5 pm to 6:30 pm while their parents attend classes to improve their basic literacy, computer or math skills.
How do I become a Reading Coach?
To become a Reading Coach, attendance is required at a 4-hour introductory training. At the training, you’ll learn strategies to keep students engaged and interested, and ways to help them build their vocabulary, comprehension and confidence. Most trainings are taught by Program Director Tamara McKinney.
During the training you will fingerprinted if necessary by a DPS certified contractor and we will collect the necessary information to complete an internal criminal background check. You’ll also identify the distance you are willing to travel to a school and the grade level of students (K, 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd) you’d prefer to coach.
What happens after the training?
Following the clearance of your fingerprints and background check, staff will begin your placement at a school in need within the designated distance you are willing to travel. After you’re placed at a school, you’ll receive a welcome letter from us with contact information for your school’s Site Coordinator and your designated Reading Seed Volunteer & School Coordinator.
The School Site Coordinator will contact you to discuss a regular time each week for you to come to the school and work with your students. Depending on the school district where you decide to volunteer, the fingerprint clearance process can take up to 8 weeks. Please be patient as the process is completed and feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Please join us in helping the children of Pima County learn to read!