Murray State University’s college of education and human services was host to the Kentucky Reading Project (KRP) summer institute this June. 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 summer institute, four follow-up sessions during the year, and at least one coaching visit to each teacher’s classroom. Ten teachers from five schools participated in this year’s KRP summer institute, representing Southwest Calloway County Elementary, Murray Elementary, Carlisle County Elementary, Benton Elementary and McNabb Elementary.
A different theme was used each day of the institute 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 classroom. These action plans focus on a balanced approach that will improve teachers’ knowledge and instructional practices in literacy.
Teachers participating in the course were enthusiastic about sharing their views of the project. Lisa Allen noted, “KRP is the way learning should be, where you have so much fun you forget you are learning.”
“By being a part of this project, it has opened my eyes to so many aspects of literacy instruction. I am so excited to implement these strategies in my second grade classroom,” Lisa Pullen said.
“The Kentucky Reading Project helped me have a deeper and firmer understanding of how and why reading is important to the education of young children,” said Denise Dunevant.
The teachers selected for participation in the Kentucky Reading Project receive a professional stipend, literacy resources, teaching materials and three hours of graduate credit upon completion of the course.
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 and chair of the MSU department of early childhood and elementary education, and Holly Bloodworth, 2013 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and National Board Certified Teacher at Murray Elementary School, are co-directors for the KRP at Murray State University.