Lesley University partnership will help half a million struggling students.
Lesley University will partner with Ohio State University and 15 other institutions in 40 states to help half a million struggling students and their schools close the achievement gap over the next five years.
“Reading Recovery: Scaling Up What Works” is a five year $54.7 million project funded through an Investing in Innovations federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education and private matching funds to improve outcomes for unprecedented numbers of students in low performing schools. Lesley University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will receive over $4 million of the funds to train 250 teachers in schools rated among the lowest achieving five percent in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and parts of upstate New York.
Dr. Eva Konstantellou, Associate Professor at the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative, is leading the Lesley effort to recruit participants from urban and rural schools.
“We are honored that the U.S. Department of Education has recognized Reading Recovery, based on its extensive high quality research evidence and innovative approach, as one of the most effective professional development programs for teacher and school improvement,” said Professor Konstantellou.
In each year of the grant, Lesley will recruit and oversee training of 50 Reading Recovery teachers in its five-state area. In addition, an experienced literacy educator will be selected from an area that serves underrepresented high-needs schools to be trained to deliver the teacher professional development during and after the project ends, helping to expand and sustain the impact of the project.
Each Reading Recovery teacher participates in an intensive year-long training while starting to use the approach to teach first graders and other early elementary students having extreme difficulty learning to read and write. Year after year, the great majority—75% to 85% percent of these lowest achieving children—are able, with this research-proven model, to reach a reading level equal to their classroom peers with 12 to 20 weeks of daily supplemental instruction.
The potential for reducing unneeded and expensive Special Education referrals by investing in the prevention approach of Reading Recovery is not lost on administrators who have implemented the intervention in their schools and districts. Carol Woodbury, Superintendent of Schools in the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District told Lesley, “It is my firm belief that Reading Recovery is an example of what education should be striving for. It is one of the most successful, cost-effective programs for improving student achievement quickly and maintaining gains over the long-term.”
The Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative was established by Dr. Irene Fountas in 1990, and is nationally and internationally known for its professional development programs for educators and administrators grades K-8. Its parent institution, Lesley University, was ranked 51 for “Best Master’s Programs in the North” in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 Edition of America’s Best Colleges.
Schools chosen to join the project will receive full funding for the training, materials and support required to teach students using the program. New England and upstate New York schools interested in applying to participate in the Reading Recovery project can contact the Center at 617-349-8165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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