Reading Recovery has
local connection on Johnson's Island
Peninsula News, Lakeside-Marblehead, Ohio
June 30, 1995
Reading Recovery, is an intervention approach that targets the lowest-achieving children in first grade reading. It is not a remedial approach, but designed to intervene before these young children feel the full weight of failure. Reading Recovery is not a package of materials with a step-by-step "teacher's guide." Rather, children are provided structured, one-on-one lessons for one-half hour each day. The teacher will respond to each child in a way that supports the development of an independent system for reading and writing.
The largest Reading Recovery project in the world is in California (more than 500 school districts) and directed by Dr. Stanley L. Swartz, a summer resident of Johnson's Island and son of Roy and Lucille Swartz, 4370 S. Memorial Shoreway on Johnson's Island. Dr. Swartz is Professor of Education at California State University, San Bernardino and a well known author and lecturer on educational topics. He has also introduced Reading Recovery to Nevada, Wyoming, Lana'i (Hawaii), and Mexico.
Reading Recovery, was developed by a New Zealand educator and psychologist Dr. Marie M. Clay. Dr. Clay conducted observational research in the mid-1960s that enabled her to design techniques for detecting early reading difficulties of children.
Unlike many reading programs that use basal reading texts (these are large textbooks with collections of stories and activities). Reading Recovery uses what are called "little books." Little books are small, 8-24 pages, books that have a complete message that a young child can understand and have success reading. Reading Recovery uses hundreds of these little books as each child learns to read.
One popular series of little books have been written and edited by Dr. Swartz and his colleagues. This series of 88 books are called the Carousel Readers and are published by Dominie Press of San Diego, California and are currently available in English and Spanish and will be translated into French in the near future. Other family members are authors in this series and include wife, Janet Maule Swartz, and sons, Philip and Daniel.
One book just published features caricatures of Roy and Lucille and their cat Sunshine. Title Sunshine, the Black Cat. The book tells the story of Sunshine on the day he found himself in the dryer.
This true story ended happily when Sunshine was rescued by Roy and Lucille. If you would like to see Sunshine, the Black Cat and other books written by the Swartz family they are on display in the Peninsular News office window.
The New Zealand program was monitored closely by a group of educators at The Ohio State University. After observing the program they were convinced that Reading Recovery was right for our children in Ohio. In 1985-86 the Ohio General Assembly provided funding to establish regional training sites in Ohio and to begin implementing the program throughout the state.
By the start of the 1987-88 school year Reading Recovery was operating in 182 school districts throughout Ohio. Since 1987-88 many more children in Ohio are now benefiting from this program.
The Reading Recovery program has been introduced and is successful in 49 states in the United States. Also Canada, Australia and Great Britain have the Reading Recovery program.