Reading Recovery

  • Reading Recovery

    Reading Recovery is an early intervention designed by Marie Clay for first graders having difficulty learning how to read and write. Reading Recovery is a research-based, short-term intervention of one-to-one teaching for the lowest-achieving first graders. Reading Recovery students receive 30-minute lessons each school day for 12 to 20 weeks from a specially trained teacher, supplemental to classroom literacy instruction. 

    As soon as students can read and write at grade level and demonstrate that they can continue to achieve, their lessons are discontinued and new students are selected to receive individual instruction.  The program is offered in most of our district's Title I elementary schools.

    Contact Information:
    Dr. Katie Barber, or 803-981-1055
    Barbara Fewell, Teacher Leader, or 803-981-1991


    What can Reading Recovery do for my child? 

    • A key premise of Reading Recovery is that early intervention in first grade is critical before students enter a cycle of failure. Research shows that children who fall behind in Grade 1 tend to remain below grade level in later school years. 

    • Early intervention is important because the gap between the lowest- and highest- performing children is narrow in lower grades but widens later in elementary school. 

    • Numerous studies have examined the effectiveness of Reading Recovery for children with reading difficulties. 

    • Since 1984 when Reading Recovery began in the United States, about 75% of students with a full series of lessons met the criteria for successful first-grade reading and writing. 

    •Reading Recovery is the only intervention shown to have research-based effectiveness ratings, demonstrating "positive effects" or "potentially positive effects" in all four areas studied for effectiveness (alphabetics, fluency, comprehension, and general reading achievement), by the US Department of Education "What Works Clearinghouse".

    • Although all children progress during their Reading Recovery lessons, a few do not make the accelerated progress needed to succeed without extra help. These children may be recommended for additional evaluation. 


    What happens during Reading Recovery lessons? 

    Each lesson consists of:

    ·        re-reading familiar stories, 

    ·        reading a story that was read for the first time the day before, 

    ·        working with letters and words using magnetic letters, 

    ·        writing a story, 

    ·        assembling a cut-up story, and 

    ·        reading a new book. 

    During the lesson, the teacher teaches, demonstrates problem-solving strategies, and provides just enough support to help the child develop effective reading and writing strategies to work as independently as possible.  Accelerated learning is possible because Reading Recovery teachers base their instruction on carefully documented daily observations of what each child already knows about reading and writing. This is an efficient approach that allows all future instruction to work from the child’s strengths. 

    Each Reading Recovery lesson incorporates the five components identified by the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act as essential in a comprehensive instructional program in reading. The five components are phonemic awareness, phonics instruction, fluency instruction, vocabulary instruction, and text comprehension instruction.