Note: Reading Go! was known as Reading Rescue® prior to July 2023
This article details a large-scale tutor-to-teacher pipeline created in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program addressed two vital needs: 1) improving outcomes for striving readers in high-needs communities, and 2) improving teacher training in both evidence- and research-based instruction. Across school year (SY) 2020–2021 and 2021–2022, 608 preservice teachers delivered an evidence-based (Reading Rescue) or research-based (Reading Ready) early literacy intervention. Through a coordinated effort between the City University of New York (CUNY) and the NYC Department of Education (NYC DOE), 857 NYC DOE students received one-on-one, interactive, remote tutoring three to five days a week, for an average of 21 sessions. Results demonstrated that students who received the emergent word reading pro- gram, Reading Ready, improved in their phoneme segmentation and non- word reading skills by 31–47%, and students who received the follow-up evidence-based program, Reading Rescue, consistently improved by one intervention reading level per 10 sessions, and showed age equivalent read- ing gains of one-half to almost a full year of growth as measured by a standardized, nationally normed assessment. Discussion focuses on the value of this high-quality training and tutoring experience for preservice teachers and on the critical support provided to striving readers in under- served communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
-Katharine Pace Miles & Andrew Fletcher (2023) Improving Vulnerable Populations’ Emergent Reading Outcomes by Training Preservice Teachers in an Evidence- Based Program, Journal of Research in Childhood Education,
Reading Rescue (RRes), a research and evidence-based program for struggling readers (Ehri et al., 2007; Miles et al. 2018), was developed by an academic in response to the lack of explicit letter, phonemic awareness, and phonics instruction in Reading Recovery. RRes continues to receives academic oversight to maintain alignment of the curriculum with research from the reading science field. RRes represents a pathway from research to practice because the academic advisor works closely with the local literacy organization that trains school staff to deliver the program. The collaboration between the researcher and non-academic partner focuses on programmatic updates and evaluation, such as the current study. Previous studies of RRes have explored its effectiveness in a one-to-one delivery mode, but it is not yet known whether the program will be equally effective when delivered in small groups.
Therefore, this study compared performance of two cohorts (N = 146; 104) of randomly assigned first-graders who received 50 sessions of RRes in one-to-one or in small group compared to a control group. Results showed intervention groups outperformed control group (for most associations p < .05) and performed similarly to each other (for most associations p > .05), suggesting the small group protocol is as effective as one-to-one, enabling the program to serve substantially more students. Discussion focuses on the importance of experience for small group instructors and the value of the program’s commitment to connecting research and practice.
-Miles, K.P., McFadden, K., Colenbrander, D. & Ehri, L. (Preliminary Acceptance Journal of Research in Reading). Maximizing access to reading intervention: Comparing small group and one-to-one protocols of Reading Rescue.
The authors examined whether Reading Rescue continues to be an effective literacy intervention and factors that impact its effectiveness. Data were collected on 143 first-grade students, tutored by 104 tutors at 38 schools. There was significant growth on all foundational skills (ps < .001) and significant change in proportion of students attaining grade-level reading status pre- and post-intervention (ps < .001; d ¼ 1.62 sight words, d ¼ 1.68 oral reading/comprehension).
Student-level factors of Individualized Education Program status, program completion, number of session, and invented spelling; tutor-level factors of sessions delivered and years of experience; school level factors of school size and percentage of language minority students all predicted grade-level passage or word reading (all ps< .05).
Findings indicate Reading Rescue continues to be highly effective, even while expanding substantially as a program since Ehri et al.’s (2007) study. Efforts should focus on ensuring program completion and increasing program exposure in neediest schools.
-Miles, K.P., Lauterbach, M.D., Murano, D.M., & Dembek, G.A. (2018). Reading Rescue: A follow-up on effectiveness of an intervention for struggling readers. The Journal of Educational Research.
The Reading Rescue tutoring intervention model was investigated with 64 low–socioeconomic status, language minority first graders with reading difficulties. School staff provided tutoring in phonological awareness, systematic phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension.
Tutored students made significantly greater gains in reading words and comprehending text than controls, who received a small-group intervention (d=0.70) or neither intervention (d=0.74).
The majority of tutored students reached average reading levels whereas the majority of controls did not. Paraprofessionals tutored students as effectively as reading specialists except in skills benefiting nonword decoding. Paraprofessionals required more sessions to achieve equivalent gains. Contrary to conventional wisdom, results suggest that students make greater gains when they read text at an independent level than at an instructional level.
-Ehri, L. C., Dreyer, L. G., Flugman, B., & Gross, A. (2007). Reading Rescue: An effective tutoring intervention model for language-minority students who are struggling readers in first grade. American Educational Research Journa
In the summer of 2016, Hellenic Classical Charter School (Hellenic) was awarded a three-year Charter School Dissemination Grant by the New York State Education Department for its effective implementation of the Reading Rescue early literacy intervention program, which is enhanced by its implementation of data strategies. Hellenic partnered with two other New York City Public schools: PS 123 and PS 516 Sunset Park Avenue Elementary School. The Center for Educational Innovation-Public Education Association (CEI-PEA) was contracted to provide project support, and Measurement Incorporated was contracted to conduct an external evaluation of the grant activities. This report summarizes the Year 1 program activities and findings and makes recommendations for Years 2 and 3.
From the data available thus far, it is clear that Reading Rescue and the implementation of new data strategies have had a positive effect on the staff, students, and school cultures for the three partner schools.
The following recommendations are suggested to maximize the success of this Charter School Dissemination Grant. 1. Stay the course by implementing the planned Year 2 grant activities. 2. Look for additional opportunities to expand the data culture in each school. 3. Improve and increase opportunities for professional sharing among partners at all levels. 4. Schedule regular grant leadership meetings to provide an opportunity for planning grant activities, sharing successes, and troubleshooting challenges. 5. Look for ways to ensure communication between the tutor and classroom teacher.
-Measurement Incorporated. (2017). Hellenic Classical Charter School 2016-19 charter school dissemination grant year 1 evaluation report.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the one-on-one tutoring component of Reading Rescue, specifically addressing the following research question: Do students who receive one-on-one Reading Rescue® tutoring achieve better reading results compared to similar students who do not receive one-on-one Reading Rescue tutoring? A randomized pretest-posttest control group experimental design was used to study the effects of the Reading Rescue® tutoring program on reading achievement in six elementary schools located in one inner-city school district in New York City with predominantly Hispanic students. Findings of this study support those from research conducted on other structured one-on-one tutoring programs, showing that the reading achievement of elementary students at risk of reading failure can be improved through the use of the supplemental, adult-instructed one-to-one reading intervention.
Results of the ANCOVA analyses comparing treatment and control groups on posttest reading achievement, after controlling for pretest differences, provides evidence that Reading Rescue increases students’ reading achievement.
Students who received one-on-one Reading Rescue tutoring scored significantly higher (p < .05) on the posttest measure of reading achievement than did similar students who were randomly assigned to the control group.
The findings from this study are particularly significant given that the majority of research on literacy interventions is based on program implementation in one particular setting with primarily monolingual students, whereas this study is based on data drawn from six separate elementary schools with large percentages of English Language Learners.
-Muller, P. (2004). Reading Rescue in inner city schools: An experimental study examining reading outcomes of a one-on-one tutoring intervention. Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University.
Reading Rescue, a staff development and intensive intervention model, has been under continuous adoption in schools since 1993. The developer, Nora Lee Hoover, Ed.D., created the program at the request of elementary school principals who were convinced that research-based, one-on-one tutoring would enable struggling beginning readers to succeed. Hoover, then a professor of Language and Literacy in the University of Florida’s College of Education, accepted the challenge of designing a training sequence powerful enough to enable school staff that may have no background in the teaching of reading (such as teaching assistants and paraprofessionals) to accelerate literacy among a school’s most difficult-to-teach students.
Based on her knowledge of effective reading instruction and school reform, and her 20-plus years of supervising tutoring in university clinics and in public schools, and in collaboration with administrators, teachers and tutors, Hoover developed a comprehensive training and intervention model reflecting sound experimental research.
Reading Rescue includes screening assessments to identify students the program will serve, rigorous and sustained training for tutors in the assessment of early literacy and in effective, research-based instruction, training for the program’s coordinator within a school, and technical assistance for school administrators to support the program’s successful implementation.
-O’Leary, R., & Hoover, N.L. (2015). Reading Rescue's research base: A review of scientific studies supporting assessments and lesson components and research documenting the model's effectiveness in inner city, high poverty schools.