Early Literacy

Early Literacy

Published: 2/20/2024 10:19 AM

​​​​​​KY Reads to Succeed Logo

The goal of Senate Bill 9 (2022), the Read to Succeed Act, is to support evidence-based early literacy instruction throughout the commonwealth by investing in teachers to increase student success in reading. A child’s ability to read is a critical predictor of both educational and lifelong success. Students must have every opportunity to gain and strengthen this skill, and teachers must be equipped and empowered in the teaching of reading to best support their students. 

Per KRS 158.791, it is the intent of the General Assembly that every elementary school:

  • Provide comprehensive schoolwide reading instruction aligned to reading and writing standards required by KRS 158.6453 and outlined in administrative regulation promulgated by the Kentucky Board of Education;

  • Provide a multi-tiered system of supports to support and engage all students in learning to read at the proficient level, meaning a level that reflects developmentally appropriate grade-level performance, by the end of grade three (3); 

  • Ensure quality instruction by highly trained teachers and intervention by individuals most qualified to provide the​ intervention; and

  • Provide high quality library media programs.​​​​

Save the Date: KY Reads to Succeed Summer Conference June 20, 2024 Lexington Central Bank. Keynote Emily Hanford

Kentucky Reads to Succeed Summer Conference Date Announced

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) Division of Early Literacy invites you to the first annual Kentucky Reads to Succeed Summer Conference on June 20, 2024, at the Central Bank Center, formerly the Lexington Convention Center.

Keynote speaker and educational journalist Emily Hanford, host of the Sold a Story podcast, the second-most-shared show on Apple Podcasts in 2023 and one of Time magazine’s top three podcasts of the year, has been covering education for American Public Media since 2008. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the EWA Public Service Award in 2019 for Ha​rd Words and the 2017 Excellence in Media Reporting on Education Research Award from the American Educational Research Association.

The conference will require registration but will be FREE to Kentucky K-12 public educators and will offer focused learning pathways to meet the needs of teachers and administrators. Attendees will learn from KDE OTL consultants and partners about:

  • Evidence-based instructional shifts for literacy;
  • The benefits of structured literacy;
  • Why high-quality instructional resources matter; and 
  • Available resources for implementing the Read to Succeed Act.
  • Mark your calendar for this June 20 event, and please stay tuned for registration information coming soon.​
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Approved Lists for Early Literacy Screening and Diagnostic Assessment Have Been Updated 

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recently reviewed early literacy screening and diagnostic assessment submissions for inclusion on the KDE approved lists, and updated lists are now available on the Early Literacy Screening Assessments webpage. KRS 158:305 requires each superintendent to select a universal screener and diagnostic assessment for reading that have been determined by the KDE to be reliable and valid to be administered as part of a multitiered system of supports for students in kindergarten through grade three. 

The submission window for the 2024-2025 academic year is now closed. All complete submissions will undergo a review by the Early Literacy Technical Review Team as outlined in the ​ Call for Early Literacy Screening and Diagnostic Assessment Submissions document​​. Newly approved universal screeners for reading and reading diagnostic assessments will be posted to the Early Literacy webpage by February 19, 2024. The next submission window will take place in November 2024.​​

Please contact Christie Biggerstaff, Director of Early Literacy, at christie.biggerstaff@education.ky.gov​, with any questions. ​


Reading & Writing Instructional Resources Consumer Guide Available for KRS 158.305 District Implementation 

Per amendments to KRS 158.305​ as part of Senate Bill 156 (2023), each superintendent or public charter school board shall adopt a common comprehensive reading program that is determined by the department to be reliable, valid, and aligned to reading and writing standards required by KRS 158.6453 and outlined in administrative regulation promulgated by the Kentucky Board of Education for kindergarten through grade three (3) for all schools or a subset of schools, with consultation of all affected elementary school councils." Senate Bill 156 (2023) requires superintendents adopt this common comprehensive reading program by July 1, 2024.

To assist districts in evaluating and selecting an approved Tier 1 universal reading program/resource, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) published a consumer guide specific to high-quality instructional resources (HQIRs) for reading and writing. The guide is intended to help decision-makers in Kentucky districts select high-quality reading and writing instructional resources aligned to the Kentucky Academic Standards (KAS) for Reading and Writing that meet the unique needs of students, educators and local communities.

The KDE further recommends districts consider both an explicit, systematic, cumulative, multisensory reading foundational skills supplemental ​resource as well as a rich, knowledge-building curriculum, such as Core Knowledge/Amplify, EL Education and Wit and Wisdom.​


​Please reach out to Christie Biggerstaff, Director of Early Literacy, at christie.biggerstaff@education.ky.gov with any questions.

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