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About Reading Recovery

What is Reading Recovery?

Reading Recovery is a proven, short-term early literacy intervention for first-grade children having extreme difficulty learning to read and write. For an average of 12 to 20 weeks children receive daily, one-on-one, 30-minute lessons taught by a specially trained teacher. Most children served by Reading Recovery make accelerated progress and meet grade level expectations in reading and writing.

Children served in Reading Recovery develop effective reading and writing strategies that enable them to continue learning independently in the classroom. Reading Recovery can also serve as a pre-referral program for a small number of children who may need specialized longer-term help.

Reading Recovery Success

The goal of Reading Recovery is to reduce the number of first-graders struggling to read and write. By doing so, Reading Recovery lowers the future cost of educating these challenged literacy learners. Reading Recovery achieves this result by focusing on four key areas:
  1. Powerful Literacy Intervention for Children
    Reading Recovery is both an early intervention program and an early identification program with two positive outcomes.
    Positive outcome #1: After 12 to 20 weeks of daily lessons most children have developed effective literacy processing systems in reading and writing. They no longer require extra help and need only a good classroom literacy program to continue improving.
    Positive outcome #2: A small number of children receive a recommendation for specialized longer-term help. In this way, Reading Recovery serves as an early referral program.

  2. Training and Professional Development for Educators
    Reading Recovery educators improve their skills by participating in a year-long, graduate-level study followed by extensive professional development opportunities where they explore proven, research-based theory and teaching procedures. There are three levels of Reading Recovery training: teachers, teacher leaders and trainers of teacher leaders. For details see Reading Recovery Training.

  3. Long-Range Plan for School-wide Implementation
    Educators in Reading Recovery schools work to ensure that all children who need the intervention receive it. A school has reached full coverage when it has enough Reading Recovery teachers to help all children identified as needing the program. This generally means approximately 20 percent of the first-grade cohort.

  4. Empirical Support for Reading Recovery
    An independent review of the experimental research on Reading Recovery by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), a branch of the United States Department of Education (USDE) Institute of Education Sciences (IES), established that Reading Recovery is an effective intervention based on scientific research. Of the 170 Beginning Reading programs reviewed, only Reading Recovery was found to have positive effects across all four of the literacy domains: alphabetics, fluency, reading comprehension, and general reading achievement.  For details see What Works Clearinghouse.