College of Education and Human Development to celebrate Cole family contributions to Reading Recovery

The University of Maine College of Education and Human Development will hold two events to recognize its longstanding partnership with the Galen Cole Family Foundation through the Reading Recovery program in schools throughout Maine.

May 6, the college will host its annual Reading Recovery Cole Celebration at the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor. May 12, educators from around the state will gather at UMaine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast for the inaugural Suzanne W. Cole Reading Recovery and Early Literacy Institute.

Reading Recovery is an early literacy intervention for first-grade students who experience difficulty with reading and writing. Trained teachers work with students one-on-one for 30 minutes per school day for 12 to 20 weeks to help them attain grade-level proficiency.

For more than 20 years, the Cole Foundation has provided grants to Maine schools to allow teachers to receive training and professional development through the college’s University Training Center for Reading Recovery. Center director Mary Rosser says nearly 200 trained Reading Recovery teachers provide early intervention to 5,000 first-graders in Maine.

“The Cole family has provided personal and professional support to the Reading Recovery community in Maine from the very beginning, when they helped establish a Reading Recovery program at the Enfield School,” Rosser says. “They have a deep understanding of the importance of early intervention for children who struggle to read and write.”

The celebration at the Cole Museum is an annual event that recognizes the generous support of the Cole family to the teachers and students who participate in Reading Recovery in Maine. About 100 people are expected to attend this year’s gathering.

The Suzanne W. Cole Reading Recovery and Early Literacy Institute will bring together more than 150 Maine educators for a day of sharing knowledge and best practices. Rosser will deliver the keynote address and Reading Recovery teacher leaders from across the state will lead small group discussions and breakout sessions.

“It’s important to build on the expertise and share the knowledge we have built over the years,” Rosser says. “We’re naming the conference after Suzanne Cole as a way to publicly acknowledge the influence and impact that she’s had on Reading Recovery and literacy education in the state.”

Individual sessions include, “Design for Reading Recovery and Literacy Lessons Within a Comprehensive System” and “Exploring Oral Language Development and its Relationship to Reading Recovery.”

Contact: Casey Kelly, 207.581.3751,