READING TO SUCCEED

By Jana Cunningham, communications specialist, University Marketing & Communications

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.