What does Ohio State mean to literacy education?
When Josh Setty first started Reading Recovery as a first grader, he became frustrated. “I don’t like to read,” he told his teacher in despair. “It’s too hard.”
Vivian Hurst, his teacher trained in the intensive reading intervention, told him it was her job to help him learn and she would make it as easy as possible. “After that, he gained confidence and jumped in,” Hurst said.
In just 16 weeks, Josh zoomed from the lowest reading level to the equal of his classmates at McKinley Elementary School in Xenia, Ohio.
The College of Education and Human Ecology brought Reading Recovery to Ohio State from New Zealand in 1984. Since then, the intervention has helped more than two million U.S. first graders become successful readers.
Thanks to that success, in August 2010, Professor Jerry D’Agostino and Associate Professor Emily Rodgers received a five-year Investing in Innovation grant of $45.6 million from the U.S. Department of Education to scale up Reading Recovery in 35 states. The grant called for a 20 percent match from private donors.
Within one month, generous companies and individuals stepped forward to pledge $10.3 million, more than the needed match.
Since then, nearly 3,747 teachers have been trained in Reading Recovery. By the end of the 2015 school year, they will have provided Reading Recovery to 62,064 first graders. Another 335,586 children were instructed in small groups and classrooms by the Reading Recovery trained teachers during the rest of their school day.