Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

A Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Scholar Tells Her Story

This post is a guest blog by Yuen Family Scholar Teri Turner, who wanted to share her experience of how well Reading Recovery works. Read and get inspired. :)

It is with deep gratitude I would like to thank the Hameray Publishing/Yuen Family Foundation for their generous gift of funding the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Scholarship 2015–2016. As a recipient of this scholarship, I have had many wonderful experiences over the year. Most rewarding of these experiences has been the joy expressed by my students, and their parents, as they realize that they are readers and writers!

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to hear a child say, “This is an easy book!” and “Can I write another sentence?!” It was equally rewarding to hear a parent express delight that their child texts with them, or that their child reads to them at bedtime. These are life changing experiences that a series of lessons in Reading Recovery has provided for these children.

This year, through Reading Recovery, I was able to bring the gift of reading and writing to seven York Region District School Board students. Partnerships with parents, classroom teachers, and administrators made the work lighter and more powerful. Hearing classroom teachers say things like: “He’s one of the best writers in the class,” “She has so much more confidence now!” and “The other children go to her for help now,” convey how Reading Recovery has made an impact on children and their ability to access curriculum along with their peers.

Part of my year included learning at the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery with Reading Recovery Trainer Janice Van Dyke. The courses were vigorous and clearly practical in developing the skills and knowledge required to support training new Reading Recovery Teachers. Visits to other school boards to participate in In-Service sessions and Ongoing Professional Development were very rewarding. A huge highlight was meeting and participating in for Reading Recovery was infectious. It was truly a privilege to meet her.

Another grand highlight of the year was the opportunity to attend the 2016 National Reading Recovery & K–6 Conference in Ohio. This opportunity would not have been possible without the generous funding provided by Raymond and Christine Yuen of Hameray Publishing supporting the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Scholarships. Being able to meet them, and thank them in person, was indeed a pleasure. So too was learning of their personal connections to the York Region community and school system. Their dedication to providing children opportunities to learn to read and write was a key message to everyone who had the privilege of speaking with them. Their dedication has certainly had a profound effect on the students I taught this year and will continue to reap benefits for many more students as I move into the role of Teacher Leader in the fall.

As this school year winds down, I am looking forward to attending the International Reading Recovery Trainers Organization in Vancouver in July, as well as sharing the learning journey of new Reading Recovery teachers and their students in years to come.

Here are some quotes I'd like to share with you from parents, teachers, and administrators about our success:

We are so grateful for the RR program and how much it benefited our son. He loves to read, something he did not have interest in before this incredible program. It helped him get caught up and be at the reading level he should be in. We also see a huge difference in his confidence. I asked him what he thought about the Reading Recovery program, and his response was: “When I start grade 2, I will now know how to read.” Thank you, and this amazing program that is made available to kids like mine. We are truly thankful.  — Parent

The Reading Recovery program at Anne Frank provided students with an opportunity to enhance their self confidence and feel better about themselves as learners. It opened the door to the exciting world of the printed word and allowed their imagination and creativity to flourish and bloom, while leveling the playing field. — Administrator

You were a part of his daily routine and he really loved the time spent with you. You always brought out the best in him and would guide him to be the best and most confident reader that he could be. — Parent

He’s the last one to leave the carpet at the end of silent reading. I have to call him away! What a huge difference. He’s come so far! — Teacher

Have your own comments about how Reading Recovery has worked for your students or children? Leave them below!