VOLUME 21 #4

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DEPARTMENTS

Intervention strategy benefits young readers

RESEARCH | Struggling first-grade readers who took part in Reading Recovery—a widely used, intensive intervention—showed substantial benefits from the program, according to the first reports from an independent assessment led by a UD researcher.

Henry May, associate professor of education and director of the University’s new Center for Research in Education and Social Policy, is the principal investigator on the five-year study that marks the first large-scale, rigorous evaluation of Reading Recovery. The first of the study’s three reports, issued in August, found that students who took part in the intervention scored on average 18 percentile points higher on a standardized reading skills test, compared with students in a control group who had not yet taken part in the intervention.

Reading Recovery has been used since the 1980s, and in 2010 a federal education grant supported its implementation in more than 2,000 schools, targeting the lowest-achieving first-grade readers.

In the program, highly trained teachers provide daily, one-on-one instruction to students in 30-minute sessions over 12-20 weeks.

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