By Mike McAlpin

The U.S. Department of Education and private foundations awarded Saint Mary’s $2.1 million to expand the efforts of "Reading Recovery," a teacher training and literacy intervention education program in the Kalmanovitz School of Education. Saint Mary’s was the only California institution to receive that support.

"The Reading Recovery program combines oral language skills, reading and writing intensive instruction at an early point in a child’s learning, before they fall far behind their classmates, and closes the gap quickly, usually in less than 20 weeks," says program director Adria Klein.

For nearly 20 years, Saint Mary’s has been a University Training Center for Northern California teachers participating in Reading Recovery. Saint Mary’s is working with 15 other institutions as part of the "Reading Recovery: Scaling Up What Works" project, aimed at helping low-performing schools in 40 states.

Over a five-year period, the 15 partner institutions in the Reading Recovery Program will train 15 new teacher leaders, who will then join current teacher leaders to pass along the Reading Recovery approach to 3,750 instructors in persistently underperforming schools.

The extra funding means the School of Education can expand teacher training capacity in reading courses, covering costs like tuition, training stipends, supplies and travel for new leaders and teachers in the Reading Recovery program.

"This award acknowledges Saint Mary’s demonstrated success and ongoing commitment to leadership in the field of early childhood education," says Jerry Brunetti, interim dean of the Kalmanovitz School of Education.

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