It was developed by researcher Marie M. Clay, and came out of working with Maori students in New Zealand. It holds to the belief that no child should be excluded and every child deserves to be literate. It operates in many different countries around the world, and has a 75% success rate. It is the Reading Recovery program.
What is Reading Recovery?
Reading Recovery is an early intervention program designed to assist children in first grade who are having difficulty learning to read and write.
Developed in New Zealand 30 years ago, Reading Recovery now also operates in most states in the United States, as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs schools, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. It is also being translated into French and Spanish.
Who uses the program?
The program serves students who are not catching on to the concepts that make reading and writing possible.
Any teacher trained in Reading Recovery, and their students, can use the program. First, classroom teachers identify children eligible for the program. Then, those students receive a short-term, individually designed program of instruction from a Reading Recovery teacher that allows them to succeed before they enter a downward cycle.
How are the students chosen?
Each child is assessed using an Observation Survey before entering the program, when leaving the program, and at the end of the school year. The Observation Survey includes six literacy tasks, all of which are necessary for describing a young child’s emerging reading and writing behaviors. They are: letter identification, word test, concepts about print, writing vocabulary, hearing and recording sounds in words and text reading.
How do the lessons work?
Reading Recovery provides one-to-one tutoring, five days per week, 30 minutes a day, by a specially trained teacher. The daily lessons during these 30-minute sessions consist of a variety of reading and writing experiences. Instruction continues until children can read at or above the class average.
Reading Recovery is supplemental to classroom instruction, and is designed for accelerated learning.
What are the benefits?
Reading Recovery was created so that children could move up from the bottom of their class, in a short time. Beginning early, when students are still in Grade One, has benefits to both individual student achievement as well as program cost effectiveness. And while Reading Recovery concentrates resources on first graders as they begin to read, the concepts and resources can also be used with older learners.
Research on students after program completion has demonstrated continued growth in reading and writing.
So teachers train to specifically become Reading Recovery teachers?
Yes. School districts select Reading Recovery teacher candidates who must be certified teachers with a record of successful teaching experience with young children. These teachers engage in a full academic year of professional development with graduate credit under the guidance of a registered Reading Recovery teacher leader.
Who are the teacher leaders?
Teachers leaders are professionals such as Heather Bell and MFNERC’s Gloria Sinclair (pictured above) who have gone through an extensive leadership training program.
And are there Reading Recovery teachers in Manitoba’s First Nations schools?
Yes. Many of the schools MFNERC works with employ teachers who are trained in Reading Recovery. And, most recently, Peguis Central School on the Peguis First Nation is developing a training centre for teachers. This way, teachers from across the Interlake will have access to Reading Recovery program training.
For more information on the Reading Recovery program