Reading Recovery Program

Photo of teacher reading with student

Reading Recovery Program

Early Literacy Intervention Programs

Reading Recovery is a preventative early literacy intervention program designed to provide a second chance to first grade children who are at risk of failing to learn to read. Developed in the 1970s and used internationally since then, Reading Recovery is supported by an extensive research base and a history of success. The program’s goal is to dramatically reduce the number of first graders who have extreme difficulty learning to read and write and to reduce the costs of these learners to schools. It provides short-term one-to-one tutoring for low achieving first graders and is used as a supplement to good classroom teaching.

A recent review of research shows that Reading Recovery is one of only six programs designed for use with struggling readers showing "strong evidence of effectiveness", with large effect sizes from randomized experiments (as defined in the federal 2015 "Every Student Succeeds Act").

Training Teachers in Reading Recovery

Teachers who are trained in Reading Recovery commit to an intensive training program, beginning with an initial one week session in August and continuing with weekly meetings throughout the year for in-training teachers, and monthly meetings for trained teachers. School principals and superintendents agree to support the training process through allocation of time and other necessary resources.

Teachers trained in Reading Recovery develop expertise that can be used in the teachers' other professional roles; and increase the capacity within their schools, and potentially their districts, to analyze problems related to literacy difficulties.

How does CES help in this work?

The Collaborative for Educational Services oversees two Reading Recovery Teacher Training Sites in western Massachusetts. The sites are located in Northampton and West Springfield, and serve educators in western Massachusetts, southern Vermont, and Connecticut.

CES has been a professional development provider for Reading Recovery for over 20 years, and continues to train teachers in Reading Recovery. Schools participating in the project will receive support towards funding for teacher training, materials and professional resources necessary to implement the program. Participating districts include Agawam, Deerfield, Easthampton, Pioneer Valley, South Hadley, Southwick, Sunderland, Westhampton, West Springfield, and Whately.

Information Sessions

During the 2016-17 school year, CES will host three public information sessions where you can learn more about Reading Recovery.  You can also email Laurel Dickey at ldickey@collaborative.org to discuss the program.

Click here for details about the information sessions.

  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016
  • Thursday, January 19, 2017
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cost Effectiveness: Isn't Reading Recovery an Expensive Intervention?

Reading Recovery is a short-term (12-20 weeks) early intervention that results in less need for longer term, more costly support from programs such as Special Education. Individual, daily lessons are designed for first-graders who have the lowest achievement in literacy learning. Children meet individually with a specially trained teacher for 30 minutes each day. The goal is for children to develop effective reading and writing strategies to reach grade-level standards.

Although Reading Recovery’s effectiveness is rarely disputed, cost is sometimes perceived as a barrier, given the extensive teacher training, professional development, and one-to-one nature of the intervention. A study of the Boston Public Schools found that the special education costs avoided because of Reading Recovery more than justify the costs of the intervention. Nationally, calculations show that Reading Recovery compares favorably for estimated annual per-pupil cost with other interventions.

Reading Recovery as a vital piece of Response to Intervention

In 2010, administrators from Reading Recovery school districts across the nation provided information about how Reading Recovery works within their RTI frameworks. Several RTI resources were included as part of the Early Literacy Intervention initiative, developed by the Reading Recovery Council of North America in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the initiative was to create professional development resources that would strengthen early literacy outcomes with students nationwide.

Find more information about using Reading Recovery as part of a "Response to Intervention" approach at http://readingrecovery.org/reading-recovery/implementation/response-to-i...

There is evidence to indicate that Reading Recovery reduces retention in the first grade, and reduces referrals to Special Education (O'Connor and Simms, 2002). Additionally, it operates as an effective pre-referral program, supporting the placement of students in the least restrictive environment.

Resources about Reading Recovery:

For more information, contact: 
Position: 
Director of Licensure and Credentialing
Phone: 
413.586.4900 x5942
Email: 
sjudsonwhitehouse@collaborative.org