Getting Started

Getting Started with Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery is implemented by education districts and consortia that are affiliated with Reading Recovery University Training Centers (UTC) in the United States and with Regional Institutes (RI) in Canada. Typically one or more school systems decide to implement Reading Recovery and employ one or more Teacher Leaders to train Teachers for Reading Recovery. In cases where a school district is too small to establish a teacher training site, administrators can contact a UTC or nearby teacher training sites about the possibility of affiliation.

The decision to implement Reading Recovery with fidelity is a collaborative partnership among teachers, administrators, parents, and university personnel. Strong coordination and communication among groups contribute to the success of any implementation.

For additional information, please see Establishing a Reading Recovery Site.

Resources To Assist You in Your Journey

Is Reading Recovery right for your school? Find additional resources available in our book store:

Promising Literacy for Every Child

Updated in 2022, this guide connects self-assessment tools with the strengths of Reading Recovery Teachers to build professional learning communities that support high-quality literacy instruction.  The goal is to create, initiate, and sustain a comprehensive literacy design within school contexts. Self-assessment and planning forms in each section guide school literacy teams or school staff in-service training.

A Site Coordinator’s Guide to the Effective Implementation of Reading Recovery

Written for individuals new to Reading Recovery, A Site Coordinator’s Guide to the Effective Implementation of Reading Recovery provides a deep introduction to the intervention, our philosophies, and how to plan for implementation of Reading Recovery at the school and district levels.

A Principal’s Guide to Reading Recovery

A well-used reference for Reading Recovery implementations across America, A Principal’s Guide to Reading Recovery has been transformed for today’s busy principals with easy-to-read information at a glance. Chapter titles are posed as questions that principals might ask as they implement Reading Recovery.


Establishing a teacher training site

Establishing a teacher training site requires a strong, long-term commitment from the sponsoring district or consortium. All stakeholders need information about the purposes, rationales, and processes involved in Reading Recovery. Key understandings include the need to serve the lowest-achieving children first, to be economical with time in selecting and teaching children, and to work towards full implementation—which means allocating sufficient staffing and teaching time to serve the most at-risk children in the first-grade cohort.

Early implementation steps

  1. Send a representative team on a fact-finding visit to a UTC where Reading Recovery teacher leaders are trained. If possible, visit established sites in your local area. Build understanding and support for Reading Recovery implementation at all levels within your district.
  2. Select one or more experienced and highly qualified (master’s degree required) individuals to participate in the teacher leader training program for one academic year. After the training year, this person will train Reading Recovery teachers for your site. In some areas, it is possible to employ an active, trained Reading Recovery teacher leader.
  3. Establish a “behind-the-glass” area with one-way glass for teaching sessions and adequate space for follow-up class discussions.
  4. Plan for the teacher leader to train 8 to 12 Reading Recovery teachers a year. Determine a procedure to select highly qualified and successful teachers for training and support the teacher leader in establishing a training class.
  5. Arrange weekly training sessions for teachers-in-training across an academic year. Work with your affiliated UTC to determine possibilities for graduate credit for teachers-in-training. All Reading Recovery-trained teachers received graduate-level training, sometimes through their affiliated UTC, and sometimes through a local college.
  6. Make necessary staff arrangements to enable Reading Recovery teachers to teach four students in daily 30-minute lessons. Active Reading Recovery teachers fulfill other job responsibilities for the remainder of the day (e.g., Title I or small-group teacher, kindergarten teacher, shared classroom teacher, special education teacher, English as a second language (ESL) teacher, staff developer/literacy coach).
  7. Make the necessary staff arrangements to enable the Teacher Leader to teach children, support teachers, and manage the Reading Recovery implementation at the district or site level.
  8. Purchase books and supplies. The startup cost for non-consumable materials is approximately $2,500 per Reading Recovery teacher.
  9. Comply with the U.S. or Canadian standards and guidelines for training, data collection, and implementation. These standards protect your investment and must be followed to maintain active Reading Recovery status.

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Fall 2023