Murray State University’s college of education was host to the Kentucky Reading Project’s (KRP) two-week summer institute. The project is a professional development initiative for Kentucky public school elementary teachers designed to improve student achievement and emphasize family involvement in literacy. KRP is a year-long, graduate level reading course consisting of a two-week summer institute, four follow-up sessions during the year, and at least one coaching visit to each teacher’s classroom. Seventeen teachers from 10 schools participated in this year’s KRP summer institute.

A different theme was used each day including applying theory and research, comprehension, reading and writing across the curriculum, and providing assistance to struggling readers. Teachers participated in activities that included strategy demonstrations, discussions of personal theories about literacy, literature circles, and guest presenters. Participants also developed Literacy Action Plans to address needs in their classrooms.

“I have learned so much from KRP. One thing I have learned and hope to carry with me is to never be afraid to try new things to help children learn. I am so excited about going back to school with great, fresh ideas,” said Suzanne McKenty, a teacher at Central Elementary in Marshall County.

Noraa Ransey, a teacher at North Calloway Elementary said, “I came to KRP thinking I was a pro with seven years of experience. I am leaving ready to conquer the world one child at a time with a refined and energized approach to literacy.”

The schools involved include Briarwood Elementary (Bowling Green), Carlisle County Elementary, Central Elementary (Marshall County), Hendron Lone Oak Elementary, Hickman County Elementary, Lincoln Elementary (Fort Campbell), Murray Elementary, North Calloway County Elementary, Trigg County Primary and University Heights Academy (Hopkinsville).

Teachers selected for participation in the Kentucky Reading Project receive a stipend along with books, teaching materials and three hours of graduate credit upon completion of the course.

The KRP is a statewide initiative by the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD). CCLD is a collaboration between Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University and the National Center for Family Literacy.

Dr. Jacqueline Hansen, professor in the MSU department of early childhood and elementary education and Holly Bloodworth, National Board Certified Teacher at Murray Elementary School, are co-directors for the KRP at Murray State University.

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