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Reading Recovery Program

Child reading with adultsOne of the most significant changes that happens to children in first grade is learning to read and write. For some children this task is very difficult even when they have the best teachers and curriculum. District 196 is fortunate to have the Reading Recovery program available to meet the needs of first grade students at this most important time in their learning. Reading Recovery has one clear goal: to significantly reduce the number of children who are having difficulty learning to read and write. During first grade reading recovery students meet individually with a specially trained teacher for 30 minutes a day for a period of 12-20 weeks. During this time, these children make faster than average progress so they can catch up with their peers and continue to work on their own within an average group setting in the regular classroom.

District 196 implemented the Reading Recovery program in 1992-93. This program originated in New Zealand and is based on 10 years of clinical trials and 15 years of on-going research in the United States. In our district we are now able to serve over 300 children a year in this program. Between 79-90% of the first graders who had 20 weeks of Reading Recovery service have successfully discontinued from the program at average levels in their classrooms. Over time the majority of these children have maintained or exceeded average levels in succeeding years.

Each individual lesson is geared to the child's needs but always includes the research based principles:

  • Teach students to hear sounds in words
  • Teach students to perceive and identify letters of the alphabet
  • Teach students to recognize and learn words
  • Teach students to use simple and complex letter-sound relationships to solve words
  • Teach students to use structural analysis of words and learn spelling patterns
  • Develop speed and fluency in reading and writing
  • Develop comprehension skills


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