History of Reading Recovery in the United States

Scharer and Pinnell

Reading Recovery was developed in the 1970s by Marie Clay, a New Zealand educator and psychologist. It was introduced in the United States through The Ohio State University in 1984 by Gay Su Pinnell and Charlotte Huck. That year, Marie Clay and Barbara Watson came to Ohio to begin teaching one trainer, three teacher leaders, and 13 teachers.

In 1985 Marie Clay and Barbara Watson began teaching Columbus children. Carol Lyons and Diane DeFord joined the Reading Recovery team at OSU in 1985. Gay Su Pinnell, Carol Lyons and Diane DeFord were the first trainers in this country. Since 1984, the Ohio State University has trained almost 200 teacher leaders and trainers. Currently, Patricia Scharer, Mary Fried, and James Schnug are responsible for the teacher leader training.

Reading Recovery is now widely implemented in the United States. Since 1984, over 1.4 million students have been served nation-wide. In 2003-2004, Reading Recovery’s 14,866 teachers served 124,730 students. These teachers were supported by 639 teacher leaders working in 495 teacher training sites affiliated with 22 University Training Centers. Professional development for the teacher leaders was provided by 35 university trainers. Currently, Reading Recovery is in 49 states, Department of Defense Domestic, Department of Defense Overseas and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. Within these 52 federal entities, Reading Recovery was present in 8,759 schools in 2,823 school systems.