Scaling Up Reading Recovery With the i3 Federal Grant: Three Years of Successes and Impressive Outcomes

by Eva Konstantellou, Reading Recovery Trainer, Lesley University


Do you know that the Reading Recovery community is celebrating another successful year in the implementation of the Investing in Innovation (i3) federal grant and is looking forward to two more years of recruitment and training of new Reading Recovery teachers?

The 5-year $45 million grant was awarded in 2010 to The Ohio State University which has partnered with 18 other universities to scale up Reading Recovery across the United States. All partners helped raise an additional $10.3 million in matching funds from foundations and donors.

The goal of the grant is to provide professional development for teachers who will teach first-grade students who have the greatest difficulty learning to read and write. The grant covers all initial training costs for Reading Recovery teachers: graduate tuition, instructional fees, a large collection of books and instructional materials and professional development activities such as attendance at a Reading Recovery conference, and other Reading Recovery-related expenses.

So far 2,085 teachers have trained in Reading Recovery nationwide and it is projected that by the end of year 3 these teachers will have served 26,584 Reading Recovery students and about 119,628 students in their other roles as classroom teachers, interventionists, kindergarten teachers, ELL teachers, or special education teachers.

All schools in the U.S. qualify for participation in the grant but the grant prioritizes schools ranked in the bottom 5% of schools statewide, schools located in rural areas, schools with a large number of English Language Learners, schools identified for Title I corrective action or restructuring, and schools or school districts in program improvement.

The Center for Reading Recovery at Lesley University, one of the University Centers that have partnered with The Ohio State University on the grant, has trained 127 new Reading Recovery teachers in its affiliated training sites in Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, upstate New York, and Virginia. By the end of year 3 of the grant, these teachers will have taught approximately 1,700 students in Reading Recovery and 8,000 students in their other roles.

Early results from a rigorous external evaluation study of the i3 scale-up of Reading Recovery undertaken by Dr. Henry May and his team at the University of Pennsylvania revealed significant positive effects on student reading and comprehension ITBS scores.  Reading Recovery professionals, school administrators, and university faculty who were interviewed by the research team overwhelmingly emphasized the quality of Reading Recovery training and support and commented on the faithful implementation of the Reading Recovery intervention. Reading Recovery teachers reported great satisfaction with their decision to become Reading Recovery teachers and said that the training was transformative in terms of their own instruction and understandings of early literacy development. To read a summary of the report, click here: FirstYearEarlyResultsSummary

For information about Reading Recovery teacher training in year 4 of the i3 grant please contact:

Kelly Adams at or (617) 349-8165

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