ECVLC TO BE FEATURED. East Central Vermont Literacy Consortium will be featured in an upcoming article in The Journal of Reading Recovery. ECVLC will also figure prominently on the organization’s website. The consortium, a training site for literacy intervention professionals, will be one of three case studies cited for achievements during its 20 years of operation. ECVLC’s commitment to ongoing professional development is the core of its sustained success. The consortium has trained more than 125 teachers, administrators and professionals. The majority of the teachers and trained professionals receive their graduate-level course work at Lyndon State. The LSC campus also houses a specially constructed classroom where administrators and classroom teachers can observe Reading Recovery lessons through a one-way mirror.
ECVLC covers a region nearly a third of Vermont’s geographic area, serves 40 schools and roughly 2500 students. The challenge in this region is rural poverty. The region has been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture as one of five national Rural Economic Area Partnerships Zones. These zones are defined as geographically isolated communities with a low density settlement, an absence of metropolitan centers, continued population loss and economic distress. Many students in these areas have little access to books and other literacy materials. At least 60 percent of the pupils are eligible for free or reduced -rate lunches.
The consortium was formed in 1991 to bring Reading Recovery to this region’s schools. Reading Recovery is a short-term intervention program for first- grade students who are the lowest 20 percent in their class in literacy skills. These students are recommended by classroom teachers. The intervention lasts for 20 weeks and is taught daily in 30 minute sessions. Student results are measured and documented and this data is compiled into an annual evaluation.
Nationwide, the data shows that 75 percent of students who complete the Reading Recovery program meet the grade-level standard in both reading and writing. The ECVLC site report for 2010-11 concludes that “of all students served, even for only one lesson, 75 percent of students were successfully discontinued from the program.” The success rate jumps to an astonishing 87percent for students who received the full 20 –week intervention.
Susan Lynaugh, Senior Teacher-Leader has been working with the consortium since its inception. She credits the success of ECVLC to sustained professional development which leads to deeper training. This allows for “horizontal movement” among teachers and reduces the occurrence of ‘burn out’. Lynaugh states that a school’s commitment to the “systemic implementation of the Reading Recovery process leads to accountability and responsibility for all children.”
In early December, ECVLC will also be the focus of an in-depth interview and film segment shot by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Fountas and Pinnell co-authored a literacy intervention system that offers research-based practical advice for literacy professionals and teachers.