MORAGA, Calif. (Sept. 20, 2010) Saint Mary's College has received $2.1 million through the U.S. Department of Education and private foundations to expand "Reading Recovery," a teacher training and literacy intervention education program based at the Kalmanovitz School of Education and designed to address the needs of first grade students who are experiencing difficulty learning to read and write. The College is the only institution in California to receive the award.

Saint Mary's College, which received $1.7 million directly from the U.S. Department of Education as a part of the grant, is collaborating with 15 institutions of higher education in the "Reading Recovery: Scaling Up What Works" project. The Ohio State University is the lead university for the grant. The education reform initiative provides $54 million overall to the partner institutions to target low-performing schools in 40 states, many of which serve high proportions of English Language Learners as well as students who live in rural areas.

Saint Mary's has served as a University Training Center (UTC) for the teachers participating in the Reading Recovery program for nearly 20 years and serves 35 school districts across Northern California. The director of the Reading Recovery program at the Kalmanovitz School of Education, Adria Klein, said the award underscores the effectiveness of teacher training programs at the College. "It provides intense academic training for teachers so they can become leaders in literacy intervention and reading specialists."

Klein adds that the Saint Mary's program is seen as a best practices model for literacy intervention. "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."

Over a five-year period the partner institutions will target 1,500 underperforming schools by training 15 new teacher leaders, who in turn will join with current teacher leaders to train 3,750 new Reading Recovery teachers. The overarching goal of the project is to increase the achievement levels of students in persistently low-performing schools.

The grant will significantly expand the School of Education's teacher training capacity in reading courses by providing resources to cover the cost of tuition, training stipends, supplies and travel for new educational 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," said Jerry Brunetti, interim dean of the Kalmanovitz School of Education.

In addition to Saint Mary's College, the partner institutions of higher education participating in the "Reading Recovery: Scaling Up What Works" project include: The Ohio State University, Clemson University, Georgia State University, Lesley University, National Louis University, New York University, Oakland University, Texas Women's University, University of Arkansas–Little Rock, University of Connecticut, University of Kentucky, University of Maine, University of Northern Iowa, University of South Dakota and the University of Pennsylvania.

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Michael McAlpin
Director of Media Relations
(925) 631-4222
mdm5@stmarys-ca.edu

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The Saint Mary’s College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For nearly 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church’s oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary’s College at stmarys-ca.edu and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.
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