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 over 200 teacher leaders and trainers. Currently, Patricia Scharer, Mary Fried, James Schnug, and Lisa Pinkerton are responsible for the teacher leader training.

Reading Recovery is now widely implemented in the United States. During 2015-2016, the intervention reached 42,442 first graders in 3,447 school buildings, from 1,109 school districts over 43 states. Teacher training or continuing professional development was offered by 295 teacher leaders to 5,361 teachers. Eighteen (18) university training centers oversaw fidelity to Reading Recovery’s many implementations. Reading Recovery’s trademark is held by The Ohio State University.

Of the first graders who were served in 2015-2016 and had the benefit of a full program, 73% were successfully discontinued from the intervention within 12-20 weeks.