Long-term grant helps U reading clinic reach 7,000 struggling readers
Over the past 15 years, the University of Utah Reading Clinic has received just over $3.5 million from the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program to increase teachers’ knowledge of reading instruction and small group reading intervention.
In particular, the UURC uses the funding to help educators become more effective and efficient at helping students from high-need subpopulations reach grade level reading expectations.
“Teachers participating in our professional development have seen student reading ability increase more than a full year compared to previous gains of a half year or less,” said Kathleen J. Brown, director of the clinic in the College of Education. “Every full year of growth directly improves their ability to succeed in the classroom.”
The grant has allowed the UURC to provide clinical practica in reading intervention and instruction for nearly 1,500 Utah educators from Ogden to St. George. UURC practica blend theory with application in teachers’ own schools with their own students. UURC staff members work in classrooms over the course of an entire school year, providing modeling and coaching in whole class routines, as well as small group intervention.
By June 2018, almost 3,000 struggling readers will have received reading intervention with the help of this grant and an additional 4,000 students in Title I classrooms will have benefitted from a teacher who has completed a UURC clinical practicum in whole-class literacy instruction.
“Reading is the cornerstone of academic and socioeconomic success in our society. Children who struggle to learn to read often fall into a negative spiral of learning problems, low grades and poor self-esteem that negatively affects their adult lives. In contrast, successful readers experience a positive spiral that allows for a much wider array of college and career options,” added Brown.
Since 1999, the University of Utah Reading Clinic has been helping children improve their reading and retention skills. The clinic serves children by offering assessment and intervention to struggling readers and providing professional development to educators.
For information about services and resources, visit uurc.org or call 801-265-3951.
Beginning in 2003, the University of Utah Reading Clinic (UURC) has been awarded federal funding through Title II of the US Department of Education, specifically, the Higher Ed portion of the No Child Left Behind and Every Student Succeeds Act(s). The recent award for 2017-18 brings the total amount of funding to just over $3,500,000 and marks the last year of a partnership grant that has funded teacher professional development and personnel for Utah LEAs, including Murray School District, Davis School District, Duchesne School District, Salt Lake City School District, Nebo School District, Jordan School District, Juab School District, North Sanpete School District, South Sanpete School District, Ogden City School District, Iron School District, and Washington School District.
As partners in the grant, LEAs chose the PD focus (i.e., Tier I or Tier II literacy instruction) and the UURC conducted year-long clinical practica on-site with educators and students in highly-impacted Title I schools. Every LEA partner signed on for at least 2 and often 4 years of PD, with educators noting that, "UURC mentoring provides the 'big picture' and the everyday details. I can apply their research-based techniques regardless of the materials or program I'm using!"
"Over the years, the reviewers have been consistently and overwhelmingly impressed with the quality of your proposals and impact of your program, Kathleen. Kudos to you and all at the U reading clinic!" ~ Greg Benson, Assistant Commisioner, Utah System of Higher Education