Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Oakland University’s Reading Recovery Center to receive $4 million federal grant
SEHS Reading Recovery program awarded $4M grant
Oakland University has joined a select group of research institutions chosen to receive a robust U.S.
Department of Education grant as part of its broad sweeping Investing in Innovation (i3) initiative,
designed to improve achievement for high-need students throughout America.
OU’s School of Education and Human Services will be receiving a $4,011,688 over the course of five
years to support the Reading Recovery program, a short-term early literacy intervention program
designed to assist first grade children who have extreme difficulties learning to read.
“I am thrilled that the U.S. Department of Education has chosen to fund this national scale-up of
Reading Recovery,” said Dr. Mary Lose, associate professor and director of the Reading Recovery
Center of Michigan. “The award represents a wonderful opportunity for OU Reading Recovery to
build on the 19-year history of our work in Michigan in this important early prevention effort and to
expand our services to struggling young literacy learners, their teachers, and their schools.”
The reading program itself involves individual tutoring for high need students, provided daily for 30
minutes per day over a 12 to 20 week period by a trained Reading Recovery teacher.
OU’s program seeks to arm Reading Recovery certified teachers with the tools they need to succeed
in the lowest performing schools in the country.
“Reading Recovery has a strong track record of preventing literacy failure for many first graders,”
Dr. Lose continued. “By intervening early to prevent later literacy learning failure, we help children
become successful readers and writers now to ensure their full participation in Michigan’s future. I
find this the most professionally rewarding work of all.”
OU’s program was selected from a highly competitive applicant pool, open to school districts as well
as nonprofit organizations, including institutions of higher education working in partnership with
This grant will make an enormous impact on the reading program at OU, according to Dr. Robert
Schwartz, professor and trainer at the Reading Recovery center.
“In addition to the opportunities this grant provides for Michigan teachers and children, it is a strong
validation of the research on the effectiveness of Reading Recovery,” said Dr. Schwartz, who is an
internationally known researcher into the effectiveness of the Reading Recovery program. “This
scale-up grant required the highest level of research evidence based on clinical trials. Oakland faculty
played a leading role in conducting this research.”
The i3 fund, which is part of the historic $10 billion investment in school reform in the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is designed to support local efforts to start or expand research-
based programs like Reading Recovery that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes
for high-need students.
The success of the Reading Recovery program brings recognition to the university and stands to
benefit the surrounding community by creating focused, positive teachers who often go on to work
as literacy coaches, curriculum directors and professional developers in their school districts.
“This grant is further evidence of the outstanding reputation of the reading program at Oakland,
which has been a cornerstone program for decades at SEHS with an outstanding faculty,” said Louis
Gallien, Ph.D and dean of the SEHS. “Professors Lose and Schwartz have worked diligently by
providing programs, like Reading Recovery, to low-achieving students. The grant will enable us to
educate fifty new teachers per year in order to concentrate our efforts on the lowest performing
schools in Michigan. This is a signal event in the history of SEHS.”