An International Early Literacy Intervention
Reading Recovery was developed by a New Zealand educator and researcher Dr.
Marie M. Clay. Dr. Clay conducted observational research in the 1960s that enabled her to
design ways to detect children’s early reading difficulties. Since its success in New Zealand,
Reading Recovery has been implemented in Australia, the United States, Canada, Great
Britain, and the Caribbean. More than one million first graders have been served in the
United States since Reading Recovery was introduced here in 1984.
Reading Recovery is a safety net for first graders who have difficulty learning to read
and write. It is a series of one-on-one lessons with a specially trained teacher that engages the
student in a variety of activities that promote active problem solving. The five essential
components of reading instruction-phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development,
comprehension, and fluency are part of daily Reading Recovery lessons.
Reading Recovery has been part of the literacy plan at West Goshen since 1997.
During that time, approximately 80 students have been served. Students are selected because
they are experiencing literacy difficulties in the regular classroom. The goal is to take these
struggling readers and writers and design a series of individual lessons that will accelerate
their learning so that they will be on grade level. This is in keeping with the vision of Reading
Recovery that all children will be proficient readers and writers by the end of first grade–a
lofty goal but surely one that every child deserves.