LETRS for Early Childhood EducatorsMore than the ABCs

Grades:  PreK–K

The LETRS® for Early Childhood Educators professional development course of study gives teachers an understanding of the foundational skills young children need before learning to read and write and provides ways to guide children's literacy development.

  • Build strong foundational early literacy skills for preK and kindergarten students
  • Enhance your own interaction with the young children in your care
  • Now online and flexible professional development for teachers

This new version of LETRS for Early Childhood Educators aligns with the recommendations of the 2008 National Early Literacy Panel on Developing Early Literacy Skills. It specifies:

  • Oral language, phonological processing, and print knowledge are strongly predictive of how well children will learn to read and write
  • Targeted practices and curriculum development are more likely to be effective than non-targeted practices
  • When many unrelated skills are targeted simultaneously, the learning outcomes are not as strong as compared to instruction that focuses on one skill or a set of inter-related skills

Program Overview PDF

Enrich and Extend

LETRS for Early Childhood Educators enriches and extends professional development for teachers so they can help prekindergarten children learn the early literacy and language skills proven to be critical for later success. The information and techniques are also important for kindergarten teachers whose young students have not yet learned the vital early literacy skills needed for the first few years of school.

Teachers of young learners will find:

  • A focus on definitions and concepts related to early literacy and language acquisition
  • Ways to design and implement engaging, effective, evidence-based and developmentally appropriate learning activities
  • Intentional curriculum development that includes learning outcomes in each early literacy foundation. Many of the samples come from Building Early Literacy and Language Skills (BELLS; Paulson et al., 2001)

Topics covered include:

  • Definition of the foundation components of early literacy
  • The structures of language, the developmental stages that build oral and written literacy skills
  • The components of phonological awareness and ways to help young children learn them
  • Print development in the areas of print awareness, alphabet knowledge, and learning to become a writer
  • Assessment components and process

“The LETRS course is equipping Alabama’s PreK-third grade teachers with background knowledge about the science of reading, in order to fully support literacy instruction and provide individualized support for students who struggle with learning to read. The initial feedback has been extremely positive from LETRS’ participants and we hope to expand this opportunity.”

—Barbara Cooper, Ph.D.
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Family Engagement
Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education