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Reading grades studied

K – 1

Targeted Reading Instruction (TRI)

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Targeted Reading Instruction (TRI) is a one-to-one tutoring model designed in particular for isolated rural schools. TRI coaches use webcam technology to train teachers in how to use individualized reading instruction in the classroom and in one-on-one sessions with struggling readers. Focus is on oral language, decoding, writing, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency skills. Teachers work individually with struggling readers in kindergarten and first grade for 15 minutes a day. Activities such as re-reading, word work, and guided oral reading are used during these sessions. Teachers receive professional development both for tutoring and for reading instruction in general in an initial face-to-face summer institute followed by weekly web conferencing from a university-based consultant to follow up training, discuss individual children, and resolve problems.

Program Outcomes

Two studies compared students in TRI to those in control schools. On Woodcock Letter-Word Identification, Word Attack, and Passage Comprehension, the average effect size was +0.51. These outcomes qualify TRI as implemented in the research for the ESSA “Strong” category and the “Solid Outcomes” rating (at least 2 studies with outcomes of at least +0.20).

Staffing Requirements

TRI literacy coaches from FPG Child Development Institute (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) each have a degree in education and teaching experience. Each full-time literacy coach can work with 20-25 teachers per week by webcam.

An intervention director from TRI trains and works with the literacy coaches. He or she meets with literacy coaches to review webcam sessions and discuss strategies to enhance relationships with teachers. A full time intervention director can supervise up to 20-30 coaches a year.

Professional Development/Training

  • One 1-2 day training at offsite or Chapel Hill location
  • End of school year 1 day training for advanced TRI training
  • Weekly webcam grade-level meeting with TRI literacy coaches (20 minutes) includes observation of teacher instruction with feedback and strategies to improve effectiveness. Both the TRI coach and teacher decide on level, activities, and texts appropriate for each student.
  • TRI website provides training videos, instructions, and manuals


Classroom teachers need a computer or tablet with webcam technology and reliable internet connectivity.