Reading Recovery

Dr. Billie J. Askew, a TWU Distinguished Alumna, Cornaro Professor Emerita of Reading, and founder of the Reading Recovery program at TWU in 1989, is internationally recognized for her work in early literacy and the prevention of literacy difficulties.

The Dr. Billie J. Askew Endowment was created in honor of Askew by her collegaues, friends and family to support advancement in literacy in the TWU Reading Recovery program.

Give now

Under her leadership, TWU built school-university partnerships with more than 50 school districts in a dozen states. Askew is past president of the Reading Recovery Council of North America and the North American Reading Recovery Trainers Group. She also represented the United States on the Board of the International Reading Recovery Trainers Organization.

The annual Billie J. Askew Reading Recovery and K-6 Literacy Institute was named in her honor upon her retirement from TWU. Askew has been an influential leader and invaluable contributor to the national and international Reading Recovery enterprise.


For more than 25 years, Texas Woman’s University has been a leader in providing Reading Recovery® training to teachers and administrators to help struggling students in their school districts. TWU's Reading Recovery training center is one of only 18 in the United States, one of two that trains faculty, and the only one in the world that offers training in Spanish.

What is Reading Recovery?

Reading Recovery is a short-term early literacy intervention for first graders that have been identified with difficulty learning to read and write. During the program, children receive intensive, individualized instruction from a specially trained Reading Recovery teacher. Lessons are 30 minutes each school day and last for 12 to 20 weeks.

Once students can read within the average range of their class and continue independent literacy learning in the regular classroom, their lessons are discontinued, and new students begin individual instruction.

What is Descubriendo la Lectura?

Descubriendo la Lectura (DLL) is the Reading Recovery program for Spanish-speaking first graders in bilingual classrooms who are receiving their initial literacy instruction in Spanish. These students receive intensive, individualized instruction in Spanish from certified bilingual teachers who are specially trained to work with early literacy in Spanish. Lessons are 30 minutes each school day and last for 12 to 20 weeks. They are discontinued when students can read within the average range of their class and continue independent literacy learning in the regular classroom.

It saved me, and I don't even want to imagine who I would be without Reading Recovery. I believe that even the kids who seem hopeless have untapped and incredible potential. -Gari Sue Haddock, a former Reading Recovery student.

Page last updated 11:17 AM, September 24, 2021