PDE Search

Reading Recovery Initiative

Pennsylvania Department of Education’s

Reading Recovery Initiative

Reading Recovery® is an early intervention model for first grade children.  This model is intended to significantly reduce reading failure within a school system. Reading Recovery teachers provide one-on-one tutoring for the lowest 20% of first grade children. Most of the children who receive Reading Recovery services develop effective strategies for reading and writing and reach average levels of classroom performance within 12 to 20 weeks.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education Reading Recovery Initiative

will be accepting applications for the 2010-2011 school year

beginning February 22, 2010.  

Reading Recovery Initiative Information

Reading Recovery® Teacher Application  (Word)

Superintendent's Assurance (Word)

Reading Recovery Teacher Responsibilities (Word)



2010-2011 Initiative Timeline

February 22, 2010 : Accepting applications

May 14, 2010 : Application deadline 

May 15,  2010 : Application review process

May 21, 2010:  LEA notification of application status

August 2010: Reading Recovery training begins

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Reading Recovery Initiative began the 2008-2009 school year and continues through the 2010-2011 school year.  This three-year Initiative promotes early intervention for students who are struggling with literacy. Research shows that children who fall behind in Grade 1 tend to remain below grade level in later school years (Snow, Burns, Griffin ). Early literacy intervention is critical for reducing the achievement gap and sustaining student success throughout students’ academic careers.  

Four studies of Reading Recovery® met the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards, these studies included about 700 first-grade students attending elementary schools in diverse settings across the United States . All studies focused on low-achieving students who received the Reading Recovery® intervention in first grade. Generally, outcomes at the end of first grade were used by the WWC to calculate a rating of effectiveness.


The intent of the Reading Recovery Initiative is to intervene when students begin to struggle with literacy.  The priority of the Initiative is to support school districts that have the highest need and the greatest commitment to a successful implementation of the program.    


All Pennsylvania LEAs are eligible to apply; however, priority is given to LEAs that are struggling to make AYP.  

The goal of the Reading Recovery Initiative is to reduce the need for continued interventions by dramatically reducing the number of first-grade students who have extreme difficulty learning to read and write in an effective and efficient manner.

Reading Recovery is a highly effective short-term intervention of one-to-one tutoring for low-achieving first graders. The intervention is most effective when it is available to all students who need it and is used as a supplement to good classroom teaching.

Reading Recovery serves the lowest-achieving first graders —the students who are not catching on to the complex set of concepts that make reading and writing possible.
Individual students receive a half-hour lesson each school day for 12 to 20 weeks with a specially trained Reading Recovery teacher. As soon as students can meet grade-level expectations and demonstrate that they can continue to work independently in the classroom, their lessons are discontinued, and other identified students begin individual instruction.


Ensure the commitment of the district’s superintendent, school board and site administration to adopt and implement the Reading Recovery program. 

Recruit candidate(s) for Reading Recovery teacher training.  This position requires 6 post graduate credits from Shippensburg University and a 2 1/5 hour block of time to instruct children.

Funding Overview

Reading Recovery Teacher Training

The Initiative will support the training of approved Reading Recovery teachers, including tuition support of 6 post-graduate credits, children’s books, professional books and teaching materials.


For more information contact:

Janet Bufalino, Ed.D.

Reading Recovery Trainer & Associate Professor

Shippensburg University




Jo Beth McKee

Language Education Advisor

Pennsylvania Department of Education