The Kentucky Reading Project (KRP) is a professional development initiative of the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development. The yearlong, graduate level literacy course consists of a two-week intensive summer institute, four follow-up sessions during the year, and at least one coaching visit to each teacher. The eight state universities serve as sites for KRP, and university literacy faculty serve as directors of KRP. Training specialists from the National Center for Families Learning provide information, resources, and support regarding family engagement in literacy.

During KRP, teachers learn best practices in literacy instruction while participating in a professional learning community that positions them for leadership roles in their school, district and the state. They increase their effectiveness as teachers by expanding their knowledge base and deepening their understanding of best practices in literacy instruction as they develop and implement a Literacy Action Plan in their classrooms.

The KRP application is now available online!! To apply for the 2023-2024 KRP: CLICK HERE

For the paper version of the application, click here.

For principals to submit their statements of assurance for the 2023-2024 KRP online, please follow this link.

2023-24 KRP Summer Institute
Dates | Locations | Contact Info


The mission of Kentucky Reading Project (KRP) is to increase student achievement and family engagement in literacy by empowering P-5 teachers to design and implement comprehensive, research-based instruction driven by the on-going assessment of diverse learners’ needs.

Essential Components of the Kentucky Reading Project

  1. Apply Theory and Research to Meet the Needs of All Students
  2. Address Equity and Diversity Issues and Their Impact on Literacy Instruction
  3. Provide Assistance to Striving Readers
  4. Use Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and Word Recognition Strategies to Develop Fluency
  5. Identify Processes and Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension
  6. Integrate and Understand the Relationship of Reading and Writing
  7. Teach Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum
  8. Emphasize Family Engagement in Literacy
  9. Use Formal and Informal Assessment to Guide Instruction
  10. Design and Manage a Balanced Literacy Approach


In the nearly 20 years since the inception of the Kentucky Reading Project (KRP), this statewide literacy professional development program has had a far-reaching and profound impact. The learning is rigorous and relevant; it is also ongoing through follow-up sessions and coaching visits.

The numbers below highlighting the impact of KRP are impressive, but even more so is the powerful, positive impact KRP has had on students’ reading instruction and achievement (see graph).

KRP has trained 3,833 teachers in 595 schools in 160 districts, serving approximately 1,000,000 students (2017-2018, based on estimated class-size of 23).

4th Grade K-PREP Scores

One teacher (T) in six years decreases likelihood of Novice (red) ranking and increases the likelihood of Distinguished (yellow) ranking. Two or more teachers in six years increased this effect. Drop in Proficient ranking demonstrates that students who would be at this ranking otherwise were assisted into the Distinguished ranking, while increases in Apprentice ranking shows students who would be at Novice otherwise were moved to Apprentice.

“My professional development experience with KRP changed the way I feel [about] and teach literacy. The students that I have taught since that experience received a much better education. I rank it as the #1 professional development experience in my 10 years of education.”

Teacher, Harlan County

“The Kentucky Reading Project has transformed our school’s entire reading program. During the last few years, each of our primary reading teachers has completed the KRP. Our reading scores have soared! Our reading instruction has never been better. I credit KRP with leading and paving the way for last year’s reading scores of over 100.” 

Principal, Monroe County

“The Kentucky Reading Project has had a profound effect on instructional practices and student achievement. The experience has broadened the teachers’ instructional knowledge and strategy tool box, while at the same time enabling them to better diagnose literacy problems individual students face and create plans that address those problems. It has also supported our leadership structure here. KRP has created a cohort of teacher leaders here who work together to help guide our unique approach to literacy.”

Principal, Jefferson County

University Sites

Eastern Kentucky University

Dr. Stacey Korson, assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Participants will:

  • Practice reading strategies by tutoring elementary school students
  • Work with library media specialists to learn how to select quality children’s literature
  • Take part in a writing workshop with a published author


Kentucky State University

Tiffany Wheeler, EdD., associate professor of education at Transylvania University

KSU’s KRP focuses on:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Differentiation – engaging students so they can all be successful
  • Kentucky Academic Standards – interdisciplinary units that integrate reading and writing with social studies, science, and other curricular areas


Morehead State University

Dr. Becky Roach, assistant professor in the College of Education

Participants in the MSU KRP will experience:

  • Literacy strategies for implementing the Kentucky Academic Standards in elementary and intermediate grades
  • Teacher-centered professional development
  • Differentiated instruction addressed in every class


Murray State University

Christina Grant, EdD., assistant professor in the College of Education
Holly Bloodworth, instructor, Elementary Education Program, 2013 Kentucky Teacher of the Year

Participants in the Murray State KRP will:

  • Deepen their knowledge of standards-based instruction
  • Integrate literacy across the curriculum


Northern Kentucky University

Lynne Smith, EdD., professor in the Department of Teacher Education

Participants will:

  • Discover strategies to improve nonfiction
  • How to differentiate literacy instruction
  • How to assess students’s literacy improvement


University of Kentucky

Mary Shake, EdD., professor of literacy education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction
She is assisted by Debbie Carter, former teacher and literacy consultant, and Andrea Marcum, music teacher at Arlington Elementary in Fayette County.

The focus of the UK KRP is:

  • Learning the use of various types of reflections
  • Integrating arts-related strategies into classroom literacy instruction
  • Using Canvas to discuss pertinent educational issues and maintain contact with cadre members between follow-up sessions


University of Louisville

Dr. Jane Andris, Postdoctoral Associate in the Early Childhood Research Center

The areas of focus for the University of Louisville cohorts are:

  • Reclaiming literacy instruction
  • Promoting inquiry-based interdisciplinary curriculum development
  • Exploring the role of digital literacy arts, and play in literacy teaching
  • Expanding our understanding of using children’s literature in relation to the Common Core Standards


Western Kentucky University

Nancy Hulan, PhD., associate professor in the School of Teacher Education

Participants of the WKU KRP will focus on:

  • Differentiation in literacy instruction
  • Comprehension of informational and narrative texts
  • Vocabulary and word attack instruction
  • Culturally responsive literacy instruction


Share Fair

The Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD) Share Fair is the culminating celebration and showcase of the yearlong work done through the Kentucky Reading Project (KRP) and Adolescent Literacy Project (ALP). Held on a Saturday each spring, the Share Fair consists of a series of roundtable sessions where KRP and ALP teachers discuss their literacy action plans they have been implementing all year. In addition to presenting their own work, the participants have numerous opportunities to network and attend other sessions with teachers from around the state. The day includes a luncheon with a keynote by a national literacy professional.


(Literacy Training for the RTA Classroom Teacher)

Background of KRP

The Kentucky Reading Project (KRP) is a high-intensity and extended-duration elementary literacy instruction professional development program provided by the literacy faculty at Kentucky’s 8 state universities, and administered by the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD) at the University of Kentucky. KRP has been in operation since 1998, and provides teachers with graduate course credit-worthy instructional improvement.

Although the precise structure of the KRP process will vary slightly between the eight state university service regions, it typically involves a full-day, two-week summer intensive to provide teachers with evidence-based best practices, quality tools and materials, and instructional problem solving skills. During the intensive, teachers work together to design classroom implementations for their students’ most pressing literacy needs. They utilize these implementations (lesson unit plans, formative assessment designs, skill development materials, etc.) in their classrooms throughout the following academic year, with faculty observation and peer support to guide teachers through implementation and assessment. The yearlong study culminates with a presentation of teachers’ results and planned next steps at a statewide Spring Share Fair.

Resources and topics vary depending on regional needs but can include the following in reference to the RTA professional learning areas:

Building Knowledge in Understanding the Cognitive Processes and Skills Involved in Learning How to Read
Institutes are designed to address SOR beginning with attention to oral language, phonemic awareness, grounding in the alphabetic principle and building to phonics and word recognition, while keeping comprehension as the goal of interactions with texts. Evidence-based practices (e.g. explicit, systematic, multisensory phonics instruction) are emphasized and integrated across sessions.

Appropriate whole group instruction and differentiated small group instruction are tenets that are integrated across all topics. The power of utilizing reading-writing connections is highlighted. Professional texts and videos focused on leveraging the reciprocal relationship between reading, writing, and word study can also components of the institutes.

Specifically, word study and phonics emphasizes such tenets of SOR as orthographic mapping, encoding and decoding, morphological knowledge, differentiated spelling instruction, and the knowledge of syntax. Teachers are explicitly taught that while language may develop naturally, literacy development requires explicit and intentional teaching couched within the print-rich context of reading, writing, and word study.

Implementing Essential Components of Reading
Content includes the Five Pillars of Reading- phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension (National Reading Panel, 2000).

Institutes can include grounding in the code building from phonemic awareness and foundational skills, to fluent reading, and comprehension strategies. Motivation, engagement, reading-writing connections, and representation in instructional materials can be added to these models to provide teachers a holistic view of literacy.

Participants engage in topics that can include phonics and word study; dialogic reading; fluency; reading-writing connections; culturally relevant pedagogy; vocabulary and word-consciousness. Sessions include modeling specific instructional strategies based on readings, a needs assessment, and real-time teacher input. Participants work on application of strategies and content to their own teaching context. Small group and individualized support is tailored to meet the needs and areas of interest based on Literacy Action Plan (LAP) topics (comprehension; writing and reading; phonics/word recognition; reading and writing across the curriculum).

Participant texts have been thoughtfully selected to highlight connections across the five pillars.

Implementing the KAS for Reading and Writing
Throughout the institutes, standards are referenced by facilitators and participants are asked to refer to their grade level standards, including attention to horizontal alignment as well as vertical alignment, to consider how example instructional tasks (e.g. guided reading; phonics/word study; writing) align to KAS.

Additionally, participants are invited to use their school/district curricular materials to identify instructional strategies, grouping strategies, assessments, etc. that align with institute readings (articles and KRP4RTA texts).

Participants are also encouraged to review and analyze their curricular materials to consider how they can be revised or leveraged to incorporate new strategies they may learn from the institute along with more efficient and effective alignment to KAS.

Supporting the Reading-Writing Connection
The importance of reading and writing connection is emphasized for supporting literacy development of all students. Read-alouds can model for teachers how to embed phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension, while simultaneously demonstrating how each book can be extended into a writing activity. Read-alouds are followed by modeling how to use the text as a mentor texts for different strategies.

The training content is couched in the tenets of effective reading and writing instruction described in IES What Works Clearing House Resources for Educators and meta-analyses of most effective strategies for connecting reading and writing (e.g., Graham, 2006; Graham & Hebert, 2011).

Topics can include how to connect writing and reading in the daily literacy block, the importance of teaching children spelling and sentence construction (Graham & Perin, 2007) and how these skills align with reading skills of decoding and understanding syntax. In addition to modeling how reading and knowledge building can enhance writing, participating teachers explore the importance of using writing as a pathway to learning to read in earlier grades and as a pathway to improving comprehension in upper elementary grades (Graham, 2006).

KRP has been immensely popular and demonstrably successful at improving students’ literacy achievement (visit the KRP webpage at for research reports on KRP’s impact). For that reason, the Kentucky Department of Education has chosen to include KRP training to fulfil the requirement for the literacy training for the Read to Achieve (RTA) classroom teachers.

CCLD will be happy to provide more information about the value and impact of KRP to interested teachers and principals. For more info, please see the FAQs (below) or contact KRP Program Director Erin Wobbekind Powell ( or 859-257-6068.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this special form of “KRP4RTA,” school principals recommend teachers for acceptance into the KRP cohort, instead of admission through a competitive application process like KRP.

In accordance with the requirements set forth by the KDE, KRP4RTA will not offer graduate course credit to teachers. If a teacher wants to take the course for graduate credit, they may pay the tuition themselves or the school or district can pay the tuition.

If you are taking KRP4RTA, beginning March, 2022, you need to go to this link: and register so we have your information in our database.

The minimum number of hours for the KRP4RTA training is 45 hours, including two follow-ups during the school year, plus the Share Fair in April 2023. The summer intensive training will be a minimum of 30 hours. The site directors have the discretion to schedule additional time for the training if they feel it is necessary to cover all the material and meet the needs of the participants in their service region.

At least two follow-up meetings are required as part of the literacy training, one in the fall and one in the winter at eight centrally located facilities. The specific dates will be decided upon by the directors and the teachers in each of the cohorts. Teachers will also be required to attend the CCLD Literacy Share Fair, which will take place on a Saturday in April 2023 in Louisville.

The summer intensives will take place in June or July of 2022. The dates for the participating universities will be announced soon.

The summer intensives will take place at a centrally located location given the distribution of enrollments for that university service region. Due to ongoing social distancing protocols from the Covid-19 pandemic; some summer institutes will be online, some hybrid and some in person. Please see the previous question for information about locations and formats for this year.

Each teacher participating in the KRP4RTA will be assigned to a university site, based on geographic and equitable distribution of teachers. These university sites will be posted on the CCLD website ( early in the spring so teachers will know to which university site they have been assigned.

Participating teachers will receive books and materials worth approximately $150 for the KRP4RTA literacy training.

You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the yearlong KRP4RTA, provided you have met all the requirements of the RTA grant. However, it will be up to the school or district to decide if and how many hours will go toward PD credit.