Reading & Literacy

Reading First Assistance Center Announced

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — January 14, 2004 | Corrected: February 23, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Corrected: This story incorrectly identified one of the universities set to work with the National Center for Reading First Technical Assistance. The three universities to serve as regional centers are Florida State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Texas at Austin.

School districts receiving federal Reading First grants will have access to technical assistance for improving their literacy programs, under a $37 million initiative announced by the Department of Education last week.

The National Center for Reading First Technical Assistance will offer free conferences and seminars, professional-development programs, teaching and assessment materials, and consultations with experts to some 3,000 schools around the country that are expected to receive money under the reading initiative.

“Reading First provides multifaceted technical-assistance offerings to states,” said Christopher Doherty, the director of the initiative for the department. “Through the [center], the best experts are going to be offered up; ... the resources and expertise are not going away” now that all the states have received their grants.

After a competitive-bidding process, the department awarded the five-year contract for the center to RMC Research Corp., a research and consulting firm in Denver. Under the plan, regional centers will be set up at the University of Florida, the University of Oregon, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Mandate on Methods

Reading researchers at those universities have been key consultants to the Education Department in the design and implementation of Reading First. Some of those researchers have also been awarded grants by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a division of the National Institutes of Health that has advised President Bush and the department on the reading initiative.

Reading First, which was created under the No Child Left Behind Act, provides about $1 billion a year in state grants to help raise reading achievement in the nation’s neediest schools.

The program requires state and local grant recipients to use “scientifically based” instructional methods and materials and to be able to demonstrate improvements in student achievement.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 14, 2004 edition of Education Week as Reading First Assistance Center Announced


English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Reading & Literacy Spotlight Spotlight on Oral Language in Reading Instruction
This Spotlight will help you determine where your reading instruction may have holes and more.
Reading & Literacy Data More States Are Making the 'Science of Reading' a Policy Priority
Four states have passed laws requiring evidence-based instruction, and at least 18 are directing COVID relief funds to early reading.
4 min read
Getty Images
Getty Images
Reading & Literacy Popular Literacy Materials Get 'Science of Reading' Overhaul. But Will Teaching Change?
Lucy Calkins and Jennifer Serravallo are among those releasing updates that move away from unproven techniques like three-cueing.
18 min read
A book becomes an open doorway
Reading & Literacy Opinion The Science of Reading Should Make Room for Skepticism (Just Not for Ignorance)
COVID-19 has provided us with a front-row seat to an underappreciated truth about science, writes Claude Goldenberg.
Claude Goldenberg
5 min read
Surreal Illustration of books flying through the air
Jorm Sangsorn/iStock