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Reading Recovery celebrates success in MVSD


While Reading Recovery celebrates 25 years in Manitoba, Mountain View School Division (MVSD) is celebrating 20 years of the early intervention program for Grade 1 students struggling most with reading and writing.
And to add to that milestone, MVSD has had record breaking data, both provincially and nationally, over the last two years.
Tracy Genik, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader for MVSD explained the two big outcomes in Reading Recovery are accelerated progress, where students are reading at level, and recommended progress, where students were almost at level, but needed more support than the 20-week program could offer.
In the 2016-17 school year, she said, the national picture was 60 per cent accelerated and 40 per cent recommended, while MVSD was 86 per cent accelerated and 14 per cent recommended.
Assuming the Canadian picture will look similar in 2017-18, Genik is projecting another record-breaking year with 82 per cent accelerated and 18 per cent recommended for MVSD.
“Because we collect the data every year, we know what happened with every child that was in lessons. We know the outcomes and we track them to Grade 3, that’s part of our long-term monitoring,” she said.
In 2016-17 MVSD worked with 51 children, Genik explained. Five of those children moved and 10 were carried over, to finish their lessons in Grade 2, which left 36 students in the program, 31 which were accelerated, and five children were recommended.
In 2017-18, she said, MVSD worked with 66 children, five moved and 12 were carried over, leaving 49 students, 40 which were accelerated and nine were recommended.
Reading Recovery is in every elementary school in the division, Genik said, with nine teachers providing 30-minute lessons per student each day.
Genik has been involved with the program since she moved to Dauphin in 2000.
“But I was also trained in Yukon, so I’ve been involved in Reading Recovery going on 22 years now,” she said.
A great proponent of the program, Genik explained, any changes to Reading Recovery are always trialed with children.
“They are our live subjects and so things like our books change, our instruction changes, because of the research that we collect with children,” she said.
“We have different emphasis every year on things that we have umbrella focuses about. This year for us, it happens to be oral language. So, because of the work that we’re doing with children, we’re thinking about children's language differently, in terms of what children are bringing to the table, the language that they’re bringing from home, that they’re using.”
Over the past 20 years, Genik has gone through a generation of students, with her first students now parents.
“But even in Dauphin itself, we run into former students all the time. And it’s nice, because for part of our 25-year celebration in Manitoba, we collected a couple of stories about where are they now,” she said.
Reading Recovery is a research-proven, evidence-based intervention which began in New Zealand in the early 1960s, Genik noted, and as Manitoba celebrates 25 years, the provincial Reading Recovery Institute is hosting the national conference in Winnipeg for the first time.
“Our division motto is ‘keeping learners at the center helping children realize their full potential’ and I believe that’s what our recovery team is doing. Walking a concrete path every day,” she said.

M. A. Nyquist