Teaching At-Risk & Struggling Children to Learn to Read

RMTM Activities and Projects Funded To Date

Reading Matters to Maine is committed to teaching at-risk and struggling students to learn to read.  We have the knowledge and evidence-based practices to teach all but 2-5% of children to learn to read (National Reading Panel Report, 2000).
To reach that goal, RMTM has established the Reading Matters to Maine Fund, a Fund of the Maine Community Foundation.  Its purpose is to provide grants for enhancing the knowledge base of teacher candidates who will be teaching reading and expanding professional development opportunities for current teachers who are teaching reading.
Among our activities to date, Reading Matters to Maine has awarded annual tuition scholarships to three Maine state universities for one undergraduate and two graduate evidence-based reading instruction courses. These are annual tuition awards to the University of Southern Maine, University of Maine Farmington, and the University of Maine.  Learn more at our website under What We Have: Teacher Preparation & Professional Development.
We developed, hosted, and co-sponsored with USM Southern Maine Area Resource Team (SMART) for Schools, a free, 3-day workshop in August 2012 titled Get to the Common Core with Multi-Tier Reading Interventions for K-3 At-Risk and Struggling Readers for 35 Maine K-3 teachers and administrators.
In 2012 Reading Matters to Maine funded a year of research and preparation for an after-school learning lab with evidence-based reading, writing, and math instruction for K-5 school children, which will be directed and supervised by USM SMART and staffed by USM graduate students who have completed evidence-based reading and math courses.
Funded subsequently also by Reading Matters to Maine, the USM SMART Learning Lab initiated the pilot program in 2013-2014. An evidence-based math tutoring option was added to the reading curriculum in 2014-2015. The third and final year of the pilot, 2015-2016, also demonstrated excellent student progress using Direct Instruction methods. Each year also included a summer session.
We annually co-sponsor with universities in the UMaine system free, public forums about reading. Previews and full-length versions of these Conversations about Reading are posted on this website.  The full-length versions are available for free professional development and include a study guide and mastery quiz.  Our titles to date include:  Reading and the Brain (2011),  Reading Comprehension: Foundations & Instructional Practices, K-12 (2012),   English Language Development and Reading Instruction for English Language Learners (2013), and What’s in a Word? Context Vocabulary Instruction for Grades 2-12 (2014), Phonics in the Classroom (2015), Language & Reading: How Oral Language Impacts the Process of Learning to Read  ( April 2016). Coming in the fall 2016,  Phonemic Awareness: The Impact of Learning to Read–At All Ages!
Reading Matters to Maine funding is also available to public schools and districts for professional development in evidence-based reading as well.  Read the criteria on our website under RMTM Fund: Criteria.
For more information, see Reading Matters to Maine’s website at or email:

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