Utah Governor Increases Funding for Statewide Reading Clinic

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In an effort to bolster support for struggling elementary readers and provide professional development for educators, Utah Governor Spencer Cox has increased funding for the University of Utah Reading Clinic to 1,321 $574. (Rido, Shutterstock)

Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — In an effort to build support for struggling elementary readers and provide professional development for educators, Utah Governor Spencer Cox has increased funding for the University of Utah Reading Clinic. Utah to $1,321,574, an increase of more than $350,000 from the prior year.

The raise will help the clinic support parents of struggling readers, as well as train teachers in reading assessment and intervention, to ensure the reading skills of Utah children are there. where they need to be, even in the midst of a pandemic.

The additional funding is important because reading comprehension is an important indicator of future success, said Kathleen Brown, director of the U. Reading Clinic.

“Their confidence increases, and we know from research that they are much more likely to have continued academic success,” she said. “An investment in reading skills is really an investment in a child’s entire educational journey.”

The Utah Legislature established the clinic in 1999 with a mission to provide direct services to parents and students who struggle with reading, as well as to provide direct professional development services to educators throughout Utah.

“We’re an absolutely statewide effort, it’s not contained in the United States at all, or even (just) along the Wasatch front,” Brown said.

According to Brown.

“Everything stopped and we immediately started getting calls from principals, parents, teachers wanting to know what we could do to help,” she said. “The (virtual) environment is often not productive, especially for struggling children.”

“Because we were already doing virtual service, we were able to pivot very quickly and go 100% virtual.”

The funding Cox provided over the past summer has been crucial in helping the clinic expand its capacity to address the reading losses suffered by children due to the pandemic, and this increase in funding will do even more to help the clinic expand its reach and help Utah more. children and their families, Brown said.

“It’s a game-changer for us. Our response has a lot more impact than if we didn’t have it,” Brown added. “I can’t tell you how happy I was when I got the email that we had secured this funding.”

Current estimates are that the clinic’s contract specialists and tutors are expanding their capacity to serve an additional 400 educators and 11,200 students in Utah schools, in addition to 240 individual children at the clinic, according to a Release from the U.

Brown said the increased funding has allowed the clinic to hire more staff and equip those staff with the technology needed to tutor children across the state and “take the lead.”

In the 22 years since the clinic opened, data has shown that, on average, reading clinic interventions help students achieve year-long reading ability in 45 sessions.

“If we could get funding like this on a consistent basis, it could be a game-changer for kids in Utah,” Brown said.

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