The Reading Recovery Regional Training Center at USD is one of 19 in the United States that is a recognized training center for those who wish to become Reading Recovery teachers or teacher leaders. The training center fulfills several important functions in the region. It provides services to affiliated districts in the five-state region through:
- Monitoring adherence to the standards and guidelines of Reading Recovery in the United States and supporting implementation of Reading Recovery
- Training new teacher leaders and teachers
- Participating in a national research agenda
- Developing and disseminating research reports
- Providing ongoing professional development opportunities for Reading Recovery professionals
Reading Recovery is the world's most widely researched intervention for children having extreme difficulty with early literacy learning. The What Works Clearinghouse, a branch of the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Educational Sciences, conducted an independent analysis of Reading Recovery's scientific base and found it to be highly effective in alphabetics, fluency, comprehension and general reading achievement. Reading Recovery lessons have been proven to narrow the achievement gap across demographic categories and in a wide variety of school settings.
More than 75,000 children in the region have benefited from the lessons provided by the Reading Recovery professionals associated with the training center. Across South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wyoming, this highly successful, research-proven first-grade intervention has consistently demonstrated that eight out of ten children who are at risk of literacy failure can be returned to the classroom average in reading if they receive a full series of Reading Recovery lessons. These facts are proof that teachers who received the specialized training offered through USD's Reading Recovery Training Center are highly skilled and effective at reducing the achievement gap in schools and at returning children to a normal trajectory in literacy learning.