Reading Recovery

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
  • This strategy can help address educational disparities. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Overarching goal is to intervene before students' literacy difficulties become lifelong obstacles
  • Intervention consists of short-term, individualized literacy instruction. Students receive 30 minutes of daily instruction for approximately 12 to 20 weeks
  • Intervention is targeted at first graders having the most difficulty with literacy learning
  • Intervention supplements class instruction and is delivered via carefully designed intensive instructional practices by trained, knowledgeable teachers
Issue Areas
K-12 education
Target Population
Elementary and middle school-aged children
Cost per Participant
Not available

Evidence and impacts


Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse, Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development

  • Improves reading achievement
  • Improved alphabetics, reading fluency, and reading comprehension
  • Improved alphabetics by an average of 21 percentile points
  • Improved reading fluency by an average of 46 percentile points
  • Improved comprehension by an average of 14 percentile points
  • Improved general reading achievement by an average of 27 percentile points

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Structured processes guide implementation at all levels: working with school systems to implement the intervention, training teachers for problem solving, and monitoring the progress of students.
  • Teacher leaders at all sites have taken courses on implementation theory and practice and continue to explore implementation issues during ongoing professional development sessions.
  • Fidelity of implementation is ensured via documented adherence to formal, organization-wide guidelines and continuous professional development for trainers, teacher leaders, and teachers.
  • Teacher training sites are staffed with coordinators, who help administer the program and support local implementation decisions.
  • The broader Reading Recovery network supports schools and districts as they introduce and implement the intervention.