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State Sen. Dan Kelly of Springfield Receives Award For Promoting Kentucky Reading Recovery Program

By Ralph Derickson

 

The award recognizes Sen. Kelly’s efforts in support of Senate Bill 186, which established the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development, providing for reading recovery education programs at all Kentucky universities. The center is headquartered at the University of Kentucky.

 

Jan. 6, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- State Sen. Dan Kelly of Springfield, Senate Majority Floor Leader in the Kentucky General Assembly, today received a national award for promoting an innovative reading recovery program for Kentucky schools.

The Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Award from the Reading Recovery Council of North America was originally presented at a June 2002 meeting of the council in Boston, Mass., but Sen. Kelly was unable to attend that meeting to receive the honor.

The award recognizes Sen. Kelly’s efforts in support of Senate Bill 186, which established the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development, providing for reading recovery education programs at all Kentucky universities. The center is headquartered at the University of Kentucky.

UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. presented the award to Sen. Kelly at a ceremony at Maxwell Place, the home of the UK president. The event was attended by the program’s participants from the other state universities as well as members of Kentucky’s Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

Todd said the award represented a spirit of teamwork among the state’s leaders and the leadership of Kentucky’s institutions of higher education that will be required to cure some of the “Kentucky uglies,” including the state’s lagging literacy rate. “There is no educational goal I can think of that would be greater than giving our young Kentucky citizens the tools they need to learn to read at their appropriate levels of learning,” Todd said.

Kelly and several of his legislative colleagues were inspired to develop reading recovery legislation for Kentucky after they visited an elementary school in Frankfort in 1997 and watched a 6-year-old boy learning to read with the help of a reading recovery teacher.

The reading recovery program is an early intervention program designed by Marie Clay of New Zealand. By intervening early, the reading recovery program can halt a debilitating cycle of failure of at-risk children that stems from the confusion, frustration and anxiety that many first-year reading students experience.


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