Team Read Needs You to Volunteer

If you've ever wanted to volunteer in the public schools and work with children, here is a great opportunity. Team Read sends coaches into elementary schools to work on reading with second graders. A training workshop for new volunteers takes place Tuesday, August 13, at Germantown United Methodist Church (GUMC). The session runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes lunch and special guest speakers. The training is a gift to the community but donations are welcome.

Team Read will show faith-based volunteers how to go into Shelby County Schools and help second graders learn foundational reading vocabulary words, also called sight words. Team Read sprang from a partnership between Germantown United Methodist Church and Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary in north Memphis, and has been adopted by Shelby County Schools for use in all elementary schools. The original Team Read volunteers, who are all ages, came from GUMC.

Children who are reading at grade level or before are tapped for the one-on-one tutoring program. Volunteers come to the school for one hour each week to work for 30 minutes with one child. Called coaches, they help kids work on recognizing 1,000 sight words that students need to memorize in order to become proficient readers.

Spokesperson Jackie Flaum says the schools have tested second graders who've been in the program have seen a significant increase in reading scores.  “We hope representatives from other churches will join us,” says Jackie Flaum, GUMC Head Coach. Team Read is part of GUMC’s Urban Haven Project. 

To register for the training or get more information contact Jackie Flaum at or GUMC Urban Haven Project co-chairs Ruth King at and Shirlee Clark at


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