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TWU To Host Reading Recovery Institute

TWU To Host Reading Recovery Institute


DENTON — Reading is fundamental. With that fact in mind, more than 3,000 educators from across the country will convene in Dallas this fall for the Reading Recovery/Early Literacy Institute, hosted by Texas Woman's University.

The institute will take place Oct. 16-18 at the Adam's Mark Hotel and is designed for teachers, administrators, school support personnel, parents and all persons interested in early literacy and intervention programs. Information about the institute is available by contacting the TWU Office of Lifelong Learning at (940) 898-3408, (800) 250-7808 or by visiting

"One of the key factors to a child's success in school is his or her ability to read," said Dr. Billie Askew, director of TWU's Reading Recovery program. TWU is one of 23 Reading Recovery university training centers in the United States and one of only two universities in the world providing training for Descubriendo La Lectura, the Spanish language version of Reading Recovery.

"The cost of below average reading skills to the child's education is incalculable. Poor reading skills hinder a student's learning," Dr. Askew said.

Reading Recovery has a successful track record of helping poor readers and has been used in Texas schools since 1988. Nearly 300 Texas school districts use the program.

During the 12-to-20-week program, first graders who have difficulty reading and writing meet individually with a specially trained teacher for 30 minutes a day to improve their skills.

"Most of the students who complete a full Reading Recovery program can learn in a regular classroom setting and won't need additional remedial services," Dr. Askew said.

Seventy-five percent of Reading Recovery students are considered average readers by the time they complete a full program, according to the most recent tracking data. "That is quite an accomplishment considering that only a few months earlier these students were at the bottom of their class when it came to reading skills," Dr. Askew noted.

The tracking data also shows that as these students advance through the school system their reading skills continue to improve. By fourth grade, 80 to 85 percent of students who took Reading Recovery as a first grader are passing the reading section of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) test. More than 90 percent are passing the writing section of the TAAS.

"The program's success is partly due to teamwork. When the Reading Recovery teacher and the classroom teacher work together, the child succeeds," Dr. Askew said.

Teamwork also is responsible for establishing Reading Recovery programs in individual school districts. Elementary school teachers known as "teacher leaders" spend a year at one of the training universities learning how to implement the program

The setting is far from just learning theory. Teacher leaders actually teach Reading Recovery during that year — while being observed by trainers and other team leaders. They discuss what works and what doesn't work.

Once teacher leaders complete their training, they then return to their school districts to instruct other teachers on how to use Reading Recovery with students. Currently, there are more than 100 teacher leaders in Texas.

Verizon is providing support for this year's institute.


For Further Information Contact:

Roy Kron
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456