The Foundation’s early focus was on literacy. The interest was based on research that showed if a child could not read at a proficient level by third grade their chances for success in school and in life were greatly at risk. We discovered an amazingly effective intervention program called Reading Recovery that was implemented at a school in San Diego County. Specially trained Reading Recovery teachers worked with first grade students who were falling significantly behind their classmates in reading. The results were astounding in that 80% of the struggling readers were able to get back to the class average within a few months of intervention.
The foundation made the decision to provide school districts with grants to provide scholarships for teachers who wanted to be trained in the Reading Recovery intervention. Subsequently, the foundation supported the creation of the Reading Recovery Council of California that provided an advocacy and professional development network for more than 4,000 trained teachers.