Educators invited to join KDE’s new Kentucky Reading Academies professional learning opportunity

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News Release

Media Contact: Toni Konz Tatman

Chief Communications Officer

Office: (502) 564-2000, ext. 4602

Advisory 22-134


April 18, 2022

Graphic that reads: Join the Kentucky Reading Academies

Educators invited to join KDE’s new Kentucky Reading Academies professional learning opportunity

(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is launching a new, exciting partnership, called the Kentucky Reading Academies, which brings the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) professional learning opportunity to educators across the Commonwealth. The partnership is supported through American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funding.

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.

LETRS is an evidence-based training that provides professional learning grounded in reading research for educators. The reading research represents a body of comprehensive and multi-disciplinary evidence for how students learn to read and write proficiently, why some students struggle and how educators can teach and intervene, if necessary. Through LETRS, teachers gain essential knowledge to master the fundamentals of literacy instruction required to transform student learning and create a more vibrant experience for all young readers.

“We are excited about what this means for Kentucky. Collaboration between districts, schools, administrators and teacher is essential for success,” said Education Commissioner Jason E. Glass. “By providing this high-quality, evidence-based professional learning opportunity, we are providing every student the opportunity for a successful and productive life. This aligns with the United We Learn vision for the future of education in the Commonwealth.”

The Kentucky Reading Academies will be implemented in three phases starting in fall 2022, beginning with 2,400 educators of grades K through 5.

This initiative is needed to counteract unfinished learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic and improve student outcomes for all students across the 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,” said Micki Ray, chief academic officer in KDE’s Office of Teaching and Learning. “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.”

Join KDE for a live informational webinar on April 19 at 4 p.m. ET to learn more.

For more information about the Kentucky Reading Academies, including how educators can register for this new professional learning opportunity, visit the Kentucky Reading Academies webpage.