In 1984, Carol Lyons and Diane DeFord joined the team of Charlotte Huck and Gay Su Pinnell in a new venture: implementing Reading Recovery as a small pilot project in Columbus, Ohio. Ever since that time, they have been on a fascinating "transitional" journey, seeking to make connections between their previous beliefs and understandings about children and teachers as learners and readers, and new insights they were having through their work with teachers and children. This book is entitled Bridges to Literacy because it attempts to represent the routes, or bridges, the authors have formed between two adjacent ideas: one-on one instruction and classroom instruction.
One question they are often asked about Reading Recovery is "Why can't it be done in groups?" Reading Recovery was designed by Marie Clay and her colleagues to solve a problem they were having in excellent classroom environments. Some children were not engaging in the classroom demonstrations these teachers were devising; they needed finely tuned, one-on-one instruction from "noticing" teachers who could follow their every move to confirm and lead them into building a firm knowledge base about strategies in reading. However, many of the procedures and materials used in Reading Recovery are based on good instructional techniques that classroom teachers may use with groups of children.