News release

New Reading Intervention Program Will Help More Young Students

More students will benefit from a new early reading intervention program that will help young readers improve their literacy skills from Primary to Grade 3.

The program will be rolled out in September and will replace Reading Recovery, a program designed to serve a small percentage of struggling Grade 1 readers needing intensive support.

"Helping students learn and excel in reading and writing is critical to their lifelong success," said Education Minister Ramona Jennex. "This will be an example of what we mean when we say we are putting children and learning first.

"We want to invest in a program that is more inclusive and gives schools more flexibility to meet the literacy needs of more young readers."

The department has already begun work with school boards to develop the program, which will be delivered at less cost than Reading Recovery, an internationally trademarked program that carries site fees and associated training costs.

The program will help a much broader range of readers and support students from Primary through Grade 3, not just Grade 1.

The new program will also make closer links between board literacy specialists and classroom teachers, meaning fewer students will be taken out of the classroom. Like Reading Recovery, there will some one-on-one support, but the focus will be on small groups within the classroom

"We are building on the collective experience and expertise of our highly trained literacy specialists at the department and in school boards to establish an evidence-based, cost-effective early identification and intervention practice," said Ms Jennex. "It will give young learners the support they need to boost their development and success, as readers and writers.

"Reading Recovery has its merits, but it does not allow us to serve all the children who need support. I recognize that some parents are concerned about changes in reading supports. I want to assure them we are making changes that will result in more support to more students."

Reading Recovery will continue to serve students and families until the end of this school year. The new intervention program will be formally announced this spring.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

More students will benefit from a new early reading intervention program that will help young readers improve their literacy skills from Primary to Grade 3.

The program will be rolled out in September and will replace Reading Recovery, a program designed to serve a small percentage of struggling Grade 1 readers needing intensive support.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex says helping students learn and excel in reading and writing is critical to their lifelong success and this will be an example of what government means when it says it is putting children and learning first.

She says the province wants to invest in a program that is more inclusive and gives schools more flexibility to meet the literacy needs of more young readers.

The department has already begun work with school boards to develop the program, which will be delivered at less cost than Reading Recovery, an internationally trademarked program that carries site fees and associated training costs.

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Media Contact:

Peter McLaughlin
Department of Education 902-424-8286 E-mail: