CONTACT: ALAN SWANSON
Senior Vice President
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Grant to UI Foundation will improve literacy among Iowa's first-grade
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A grant of more than $575,000 from the Roy J. Carver
Charitable Trust will allow the University of Iowa College of Education
to help boost literacy among first-graders throughout Iowa.
The grant to the University of Iowa Foundation will enable the Reading
Recovery Center of Iowa to fully implement the Reading Recovery program
across the state by the end of the 2001-2002 academic year. The University
of Iowa College of Education is the fiscal agent for the Reading Recovery
Center of Iowa, which is located in Des Moines and one of only 23 university
training centers in North America.
Reading Recovery is an early intervention program designed to prevent
reading failure among first-grade children. More than 80 percent of students
who complete the Reading Recovery program, which lasts an average of 15
to 20 weeks, begin performing within the average achievement range of their
peers and do not need remedial help again. The continued success of students
who have completed Reading Recovery has encouraged educators worldwide
to implement the program.
This literacy initiative continues to gain attention. The Reading Recovery
Center of Iowa and the University of Iowa will host the first state conference
on Reading Recovery Feb. 19 and 20 in Des Moines.
"This grant provides a helping hand in the form of scholarships
to school districts and Area Education Agencies to train Reading Recovery
teacher leaders," said Richard Shepardson, interim dean of the UI
College of Education. "The Reading Recovery Center of Iowa makes
the literacy program more accessible and affordable, so teachers can get
the training they need right here in Iowa, rather than traveling out of
state to participate. The Carver grant improves the long-range chances
for success for the Reading Recovery program in Iowa. Research shows the
Reading Recovery program reduces student retention in the same grade, referrals
to special education and a student's need for Title I services. This is,
indeed, a boost for the entire state, and I am proud that the UI College
of Education is helping this important program meet the needs of Iowans."
The Carver grant will fund training for more teachers to make Reading
Recovery available to all eligible first-graders in Iowa -- about 8,000
children who are at risk for reading failure and in need of individualized
instruction. Only 3,800 children are being served during the current academic
Mary Lose, director of the Reading Recovery Center of Iowa, said the
grant "will meet a critical need and will allow us to bring struggling
young readers to literacy. Children with poor reading skills often go
through a cycle of confusion, frustration and anxiety. This pattern of
thinking quickly leads to feelings of failure for these at-risk students.
They often fall behind classmates and require years of remedial instruction.
Early intervention participation in Reading Recovery can halt the cycle
of failure and enable children to become independent readers with improved
self-esteem and classroom performance."
The Reading Recovery program was introduced in Iowa in 1991 in Des Moines.
The University of Iowa-based training center, which opened in 1998, now
serves 141 school districts and provides ongoing professional development
for teachers and technical assistance to affiliates. The center also conducts
and critiques research and disseminates information about Reading Recovery.
The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa, is a private
foundation established through the will of Roy J. Carver, an Iowa industrialist
and philanthropist who died in 1981. Carver was especially interested
in helping young people obtain a good education and in advancing knowledge
and better health through biomedical and scientific research.
During his lifetime, Carver contributed nearly $10 million to the University
of Iowa in support of scholarships, professorships, medical research, health
care and athletics. Since 1982, the Carver Trust has contributed more
than $25 million to UI projects. The University of Iowa Foundation is the
preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of
the University of Iowa. Foundation staff members work with organizations,
alumni and friends to provide support for a broad range of programs and
projects at the University of Iowa.