George Simpson Award Information

Intent of the Award

George Simpson was chancellor of the university system of Georgia from 1965 to 1979. He was, and is, a champion for children’s literacy and a strong advocate for Reading Recovery. The Tarver Family Foundation bestowed a gift honoring Dr. Simpson to the Georgia State University Reading Recovery Program in May 2000.

It is Dr. Simpson’s desire that these funds be used to support Reading Recovery teachers and teacher leaders in their ongoing professional development by supporting travel costs to a regional or national Reading Recovery conference.

George Simpson Award Application 
Any active Reading Recovery teacher or teacher leader affiliated with the Georgia State University Reading Recovery Training Center is eligible to apply for the award. Two awards will be given annually, one for a teacher leader and one for a teacher.
The award may be used to attend a Reading Recovery Conference. This may be the National Conference, the International Reading Recovery Conference or one of the regional conferences.
The award covers up to $1000.00 in expenses incurred by attending any of the events described above. This includes registration, airfare, hotel, meals (governed by state per diem), airport parking and ground transportation.

The actual amount of each award varies, depending on actual expenses. Recipients are required to turn in their original receipts immediately after the conference and are reimbursed within 30 days of submission. Receipts must provide details of the items that were purchased. Please be aware that expenses for alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed.

The application is in two parts:

  1. The application form: The form requires contact information and other basic facts, including number of years in Reading Recovery.
  2. Two short essays: The essays are 100 words each maximum, to be submitted on a separate sheet of paper. They have a combined possible point score of 100.
    1. What new insights do you expect to gain at the conference for which you are applying? (60 Points) This essay should show the judges that you know what you need to learn. Be specific about the topics you think you most need to learn about in order to help your students, foster understanding among parents and improve your own teaching.
    2. Briefly describe your financial need. (40 Points) This essay should help the judges to understand the special circumstances that make it difficult for you to afford going to the conference of your choice.

Applicants are urged to make sure the answers to the essay questions are no more than 100 words each. Everything over 100 words will be deleted.

George Simpson Award Application 

The essay portions of each application are read by a panel of judges. The panel is made up of Reading Recovery university trainers, other university personnel and retired Reading Recovery professionals.

To ensure impartiality, the essays are read ‘blind.’ Each application is assigned a number by the office manager, and all mention of the applicant’s name, school and school system is deleted. Applicants should also count the number of words in each essay, as all words over the 100-word limit will be deleted. Please do not include photographs, graphics or any decorations with your entry.

Essays are scored by the judges according to a point system, and have a possible combined score of 100. Generally, the judges are looking for quality and depth in the essays, including a clear understanding of Reading Recovery and its implementation. They are also seeking candidates who are articulate and who express themselves clearly, using good grammar, spelling and punctuation. Total scores are then divided by the number of judges for an average score. The award is conferred to the applicant with the highest average score.

If no applicant scores at least 85 of the possible 100 points, the judges reserve the right not to grant an award in that round. In case of a tie for the top score, the judges reserve the right to ask the tied applicants for additional information.

Recipients are expected to file a report regarding the conference attended and what was learned from this experience (and how it will be used) with the Georgia State University Reading Recovery Training Center within two months of attending the conference.
The application form may be downloaded here (from the Georgia State University Reading Recovery website) or on request from the Georgia State University Reading Recovery Training Center.

George Simpson Award Application 

Applications must be postmarked by the date above. The Georgia State University Reading Recovery Training Center is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, mutilated, incomplete, illegible applications or postage-due mail. Applications can also be submitted electronically to All applications become the property of the Georgia State University Reading Recovery Training Center and will not be returned. By submitting an application, applicants agree to provide other information and documentation as may be reasonably requested by RRCNA. Winners will be announced approximately three weeks after the postmark date, and all applicants will be notified.

Applications will be judged by the Georgia State University Reading Recovery Training Center professionals whose decisions will be final in all respects. In the event that a candidate is unable, for any reason, to attend the conference, the Reading Recovery University Training Center should be informed so that the award can be conferred on the next highest scoring candidate. By participating, entrants agree to the Official Rules and decisions of the Georgia State University Reading Recovery program, which shall be final in all respects.

Please contact the Georgia State University Reading Recovery Training Center at 404-413-8024 if you have specific award questions.