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NewsJul 1, 2021

Lesley, Ohio State partner on new literacy intervention

Lesley Professor Irene Fountas helps address national early literacy learning post-pandemic

Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas at Commencement
Drs. Gay Su Pinnell, left, and Irene Fountas at our 2018 Commencement, where Pinnell was awarded an honorary doctorate.

Lesley University, in collaboration with The Ohio State University, has launched a new evidence-based intervention that provides teacher training for intensive instruction of students who are performing significantly below grade level in reading and writing.

Titled the “Leveled Literacy Intervention National Tutoring Scale-up Model,” the intervention is designed to help students in grades K-2 make accelerated and sustained literacy progress.

It includes trainers, based jointly at Lesley and Ohio University, and tutors who are based at the school or district level.

“Student success cannot be left to chance,” says Lesley Professor Irene Fountas, who holds the Marie M. Clay Endowed Chair in Early Literacy and Reading Recovery®, and is the founding director of our Center for Reading Recovery® & Literacy Collaborative. “Schools must rely on proven resources, proven instruction and proven tutoring models to assure equitable student outcomes for every child.”

The model is featured on the ProvenTutoring.org website, a coalition of organizations founded by Robert Slavin and Nancy Madden of Johns Hopkins University, which features highly effective tutoring programs to support students across the U.S. In addition, the model is backed by rigorous independent research, including What Works Clearinghouse, who found positive effects for beginning readers in the Leveled Literacy Intervention system, created by Dr. Fountas and Ohio State’s Dr. Gay Su Pinnell.

“Leveled Literacy Intervention is effective, engaging and efficient. Children’s results have been remarkable,” says Dr. Pinnell, professor emerita in the School of Teaching and Learning at The Ohio State University. “Thousands of children have made tremendous gains because of their opportunity for this powerful early intervention. Now, with the Leveled Literacy Intervention National Tutoring Scale-up Model, we are able to create equitable literacy opportunities for all students with a coherent systematic implementation of an intensive intervention.”

One year ago, Dr. Pinnell gave a generous $3 million gift to Lesley through her charitable fund with The Columbus Foundation. The gift endows the Dr. Gay Su Pinnell Fund for Reading Recovery and Literacy supports the Center for Reading Recovery® and Literacy Collaborative at our Graduate School of Education.

The Leveled Literacy Intervention National Tutoring Scale-up Model is specifically designed to lift the literacy achievement of students and turn struggling readers into successful readers with engaging leveled books and fast-paced, systematically designed lessons.

“Leveled Literacy Intervention National Tutoring Scale-up Model is not only an investment in student success,” notes Dr. Fountas, “but it is a long-term investment in teacher expertise that will power your scale up for many years to come.” 

In 2016, Fountas was honored with our first endowed chair in recognition of her decades of innovation and achievements on behalf of struggling readers.

The two universities have scheduled a free webinar, July 22 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. EST on how schools and districts can benefit. To register, visit https://bit.ly/lliscaleup