Scharer named new president, Reading Recovery Council of North America
Patricia L. Scharer, professor of teaching and learning within the College Education and Human Ecology, is the new president of the Reading Recovery Council of North America (RRCNA), a membership association of Reading Recovery educators and advocates dedicated to helping first graders who struggle with beginning reading. The Council provides a network of opportunities for leadership and professional development. Council members also advocate for Reading Recovery in the United States and Canada.
Scharer’s experience makes her well-suited to lead Council members as they address the needs of struggling students and work with administrators to meet challenges in today’s schools. Trained as a Reading Recovery teacher in the Marion City Schools 25 years ago, Scharer has improved literacy learning for thousands of students through her own work with students and as a teacher educator at Ohio State.
The three-time alumna, ’72, ’87 MA, ’87 PhD, all Education, is actively involved in two literacy projects at Ohio State – Literacy Collaborative, a K-6 school reform model training on-site coaches to support teacher professional development, and Reading Recovery, a research-based intervention for first-grade students with difficulty learning to read and write. In 2004, Scharer collaborated with colleagues at both Ohio State and the University of Chicago to receive a $3.9 million Federal Teacher Quality Grant to study the impact of Literacy Collaborative professional development on both teachers and students' literacy achievement. In October 2010, Scharer and colleagues Jerry D'Agostino, professor of quantitative research, evaluation and measurement, and Emily Rodgers, associate professor of teaching and learning, were awarded a $54 million federal i3 grant to scale up Reading Recovery across the U.S.
Scharer’s research interests include early literacy development, phonics and word study, and the role of children’s literature to foster both literary development and literacy achievement. She has co-authored numerous professional books and chapters. Her research has been published in Reading Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, Educational Leadership, Language Arts, The Reading Teacher, Reading Research and Instruction, The Journal of Reading Recovery, Literacy Teaching & Learning, and the yearbooks of the National Reading Conference and the College Reading Association. She presently serves as editor of the implementation section of the The Journal of Reading Recovery.
Scharer’s presidency continues a legacy of Reading Recovery leadership that began 25 years ago at The Ohio State University. Today, 20 universities across the United States oversee teacher professional development in nearly 300 training sites. More than 2 million children across the United States have had Reading Recovery lessons. For students with a full series of lessons, about 75 percent reach grade-level standard. Reading Recovery is recognized by literacy researchers across the world and in the United States for its strong evidence of effectiveness.
Members of the EHE community serve RRCNA in multiple capacities. Cheryl Achterberg, dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology, continues to serve as a member of the Reading Recovery Council of North America Board of Directors, representing Reading Recovery and Early Literacy, Inc.