Comprehensive Literacy Center

"If the child is a struggling reader or writer, the conclusion must be that we have not yet discovered the way to help him learn." — Clay, (2016). Literacy Lessons Designed for Individuals, 2nd ed., p. 165.

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Under the leadership of the University Trainers Drs. Adria Klein and Debra Semm Rich, the Comprehensive Literacy Center within the Kalmanovitz School of Education is proud to serve as the West Coast training center for the professional development of Teacher Leaders in the United States who implement the Reading Recovery® practice in their classrooms.

The Comprehensive Literacy Center trains Teacher Leaders and Teachers to provide a systemic school transformational model dedicated to equity and access to design, initiate, and sustain a comprehensive literacy system within and across school contexts.

The goal is high-quality instruction for all students, which leads to increased student achievement. We advocate for: 

  • Effective and inclusive approaches to improved literacy instruction
  • High-quality professional development
  • Research-based instructional practices that bridge a range of theoretical stances
  • Comprehensive and diagnostic assessment system

The Center supports eight layers of implementation to support the needs of all students throughout the school-wide system. The Center trains Coaches and Teacher Leaders who in turn train Teachers in the following models:

Intensive Individualized Instruction:

  • Reading Recovery - Grade 1 students in the lowest 20% of the class receive individually designed instruction to achieve grade-level expectations within 12-20 weeks or receive instruction and extensive diagnostic screening for further intervention.
  • Literacy Lessons - Grade 1-4 students identified for English Learners or Special Education receive individually designed instruction to develop an efficient literacy processing system.
  • Early Literacy
  • Descubriendo la Lectura - Grade 1 students receive a reconstruction of Reading Recovery in Spanish.
  • HEROES - Students ages 6-9 who are identified with an IEP, 504 plan, or referral in reading receive individually designed instruction to develop an efficient literacy processing system.
  • Strategic Processing Intervention - Grade 1-12 students with the greatest difficulties in reading, including, but not limited to students identified with dyslexia, autism, or other special needs, or referred to a child study team. Student receive individualized intensive instruction to develop an efficient literacy processing system.

Intensive Small Group Instruction:

  • Comprehensive Intervention Model - Grades K-12 students who struggle with reading and writing receive small-group systematic, targeted, and differentiated instruction to meet needs of students.

Whole Group Instruction:

  • Comprehensive Literacy Model - Grade K-12 students improve literacy skills through a coordinated and aligned literacy framework within the general education classroom, and across grade levels within the school.


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Teachers may enroll in four different Reading Recovery programs to become a Reading Recovery Teacher, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, Literacy Lessons Teacher, or Descubriendo la Lectura Teacher.

The Center also offers training in the Comprehensive Intervention Model (CIM) for both Literacy Coaches and Teachers. Both classroom teachers and support specialists can train in the CIM program. Each program consists of a yearlong curriculum that offers graduate coursework and units to be taken through Saint Mary’s College of California. The Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and CIM Literacy Coach programs meet regularly on campus but also use video conferencing and distance learning for some meetings. The CIM Literacy Intervention Coach program uses a hybrid training approach. The four teacher programs are taught off-campus by Teacher Leaders and Literacy Coaches at school district sites affiliated with Saint Mary's. Teachers receive a certificate upon the successful completion of their program.

What is Reading Recovery? Reading Recovery® is a highly effective short-term intervention of one-to-one tutoring for first grade children who are not catching on to the complex set of concepts that make reading and writing possible. 

How does Reading Recovery work? Individual students receive a half-hour lesson each school day for 12 to 20 weeks with a specially-trained Reading Recovery teacher. As soon as the students can meet grade-level expectations and demonstrate that they can continue to work independently in the classroom, their lessons are discontinued, and new students begin individual instruction. 

Why does Reading Recovery work? Learn more in this video.