Illinois Reading Recovery® Center for Literacy - A History of School Partner Networks
In 1989, in collaboration with Illinois School Board of Education (ISBE), National Louis University received approval from the Reading Recovery Council of North America (RRCNA) to establish a state university training center (UTC) for preparing school based Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders. Over time the Illinois Reading Recovery Center at NLU has developed a network of teacher leaders and school administrators in over 350 school buildings across the state of Illinois. Approximately 6,000 Illinois first grade children receive Reading Recovery services each year.
For three years (2007, 2008, 2009) Dr. Linda Dorn, a popular presenter at the Reading Recovery & Early Literacy Annual Pre-Conference session attracted Illinois school teams interested in the Arkansas comprehensive literacy model. This model is directly linked to current national and state requirements for implementing Response to Intervention (RTI) methods for tailoring instruction for all learners through core curriculum, explicit instruction, systematic progress monitoring, and continuous professional development. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA, 2004) advocates for intervention prior to identification. Under IDEA, a response to intervention (RTI) method is designed to provide struggling learners with appropriate interventions in order to decrease the number of children referred for special education services. Intervening early in order to reduce early learning failure has been a priority goal for Reading Recovery professionals for more than twenty years.
Reading Recovery is an early intervention program for first graders who are experiencing extreme difficulty learning to read and write. Reading Recovery includes layered professional development design in which experienced educators engage in a year-long post-graduate course series at National Louis University (NLU) which prepares them to train Reading Recovery Teachers in their home district/region. Reading Recovery incorporates a proven instructional intervention for children, progress monitoring system, continuing education for Reading Recovery teachers and teacher leaders, annual research and evaluation that drive continuous improvement.
A Reading Recovery teacher leader is employed by a school district or a consortium of school districts. After the initial preparation year, a teacher leader can be expected to train 8-12 new Reading Recovery teachers per year. A teacher leader can eventually provide professional support for up to 45 trained Reading Recovery teachers. In addition to supporting teachers with school visits, technical assistance, and problem solving the most challenging cases, Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders also teach Reading Recovery children.