Empowering K–5 teachers to improve student literacy through evidence-based professional learning
The Kentucky Department of Education is offering a comprehensive, no-cost professional learning opportunity to eligible educators during the next three years.
The purpose of the Kentucky Reading Academies is to increase reading outcomes for elementary students by providing high-quality, job-embedded professional learning about HOW students learn to read to K-5 teachers and administrators.
Why is this needed in Kentucky?
- The impact of COVID-19 has been pronounced among early learners, for whom development of reading and writing skills is critical to success in all subjects and later grades. As research indicates, students who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to not finish high school.
- Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reveal a downward trend in fourth-grade reading results, leaving Kentucky ranked 23rd in the nation, based on 2018-2019 data.
- While teachers are the MOST essential factor in student success, only 49% of teaching institutions nationally effectively prepare teachers for literacy instruction.
Who is eligible?
- Educators in Kentucky public schools who work with K–5 students, which includes general educators, special educators, reading specialists, those who teach English Learners (EL), those in Title I schools, and administrators, are eligible.
- Participation is not required, but there are numerous benefits for participating.
For more information and FAQs specific to the Kentucky Reading Academies, visit the KDE webpage.
Reserve your spot now: register for LETRS!
The KDE is committed to supporting the success of this initiative. Districts and schools with a commitment to building sustainability may reach out to KDE’s Chief Academic Officer Micki Ray via email at email@example.com for additional information about the Kentucky Reading Academies.
Access your LETRS Account
Cohort 1 Training Schedule
The Kentucky Reading Academies will help educators utilize evidence-based approaches to reading and writing instruction designed to improve reading and writing proficiency. Because reading and writing proficiently are building blocks to success in future grades and courses and in postsecondary pursuits, the Reading Academies will provide educators with the tools needed to help students be successful lifelong readers and writers.
Participating educators will be equipped with evidence-based professional learning about how students learn to read that can be used and applied in their classrooms throughout their careers.
What is LETRS?
Developed by renowned literacy experts Dr. Louisa Moats and Dr. Carol Tolman, LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) is a flexible literacy professional learning solution. LETRS teaches the skills needed to master the fundamentals of reading and writing instruction—phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and written language and is designed to help teachers use the local curriculum and instructional resources already available in their districts in a more effective way, strengthening teacher knowledge and enhancing success.
Dr. Jason Glass
We are excited about what this means for Kentucky. Collaboration between districts, schools, administrators, and teachers is essential for success. By providing this high-quality, evidence-based professional learning opportunity, we are providing every student the opportunity for a successful and productive life: This is the vision of United We Learn and is key to the future of our Commonwealth.
Kentucky educators deserve access to ongoing support in building early readers, writers, and communicators who will be prepared to meet the future demands of college and career. Research demonstrates a positive link between high-quality professional learning, teaching practices, and student outcomes. Effective professional learning not only has the potential to improve both classroom instruction and student outcomes, but also it can be effective in recruiting and retaining teachers.
Questions about Kentucky Reading Academies?
Get more details and view FAQs about the Kentucky Reading Academies.Go to KDE Page
Resources for Literacy Learning
A host of resources related to LETRS, success stories, and the research that supports LETRS is available to give you additional insight. Pacing Guides and other resources specific to Kentucky will be added to this section.
Training Educators and Administrators in LETRS Professional Learning Improves Literacy Outcomes in Oklahoma's Enid Public Schools
Wyoming District's Journey to Improve Literacy Drive Student Outcomes; Ignites Passion for Staff, Teachers