Reading Recovery Council to Launch Early Literacy Web Site

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Finding help for teaching young children to read will be easier this spring when the Reading Recovery Council of North America opens its online database that will focus on early literacy. Funding for the database, called The Center for Early Literacy Information, has been made possible through a $95,000 grant from Verizon, which was presented today at the National Reading Recovery & Early Literacy Conference held in Columbus, Ohio at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

"Initially the content will focus on early literacy information for children in kindergarten through grade two," said Susan Fullerton, professor of Education at Clemson University and Chairman of the Center for Early Literacy Information advisory board. "However, as our capacity increases we expect to include information for pre-K through third grade."

Todd Colquitt, president-Verizon Ohio, said, "Verizon believes reading, writing and communicating are fundamental to a child's success in life, and we believe that this Web site fills an important information need. We are proud to partner with the Reading Recovery Council of North America so that people working with young children have the most up-to-date information on literacy."

When it is launched later this spring, The Center for Early Literacy Information will offer easy online access to early literacy information and publication abstracts.

Web site visitors will find documents selected to reflect best practices in early literacy as well as research-based papers and articles.

Topics will include reading, writing, early intervention, phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary development, fluency, teacher training, word recognition, and more. An expert content review board will oversee selection of materials for inclusion on the site.

The Center for Early Literacy Information also will link to http://www.verizonreads.net, a Verizon-hosted site offering a range of literacy tools and information, as well as links to other major literacy partners.

Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, also awarded the Reading Recovery Council $90,000 in 2003 for the design of the database and to determine what content will be included on the Web site.

Reading Recovery is a collaborative effort between local schools and universities to train teachers to become experts in literacy. It was established in the United States in 1984, and since then, more than one million children with extreme difficulty learning to read and write have received Reading Recovery lessons. The program is available in 49 states, and more than 10,000 schools.

Through Verizon Reads, its signature philanthropy program, Verizon works as America's Literacy Champion to increase community and corporate awareness, to raise funds, to encourage collaboration among literacy providers, and to engage employees and customers in supporting literacy initiatives.

In 2003, Verizon donated $16.5 million to literacy programs nationwide.


Media contacts:

Marsha Studebaker, Reading Recovery Council of North America,

Bruce Childs, Verizon, 740-383-0331

Bill Kula, Verizon, 972-718-6924