Skip To Main Content

Harriet Bishop teacher receives professional learning grant in pursuit of transforming reading instruction 

Harriet Bishop teacher receives professional learning grant in pursuit of transforming reading instruction 

Harriet Bishop English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher Ryanne Mikunda has been named a winner in the inaugural Lexia LETRS Science of Reading Grant Contest. She is one of 118 teachers and educators from 26 states who has received a professional learning grant for the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) course.

riyanne mikunda teaching her class

Mikunda was awarded the grant after submitting a brief video explaining how LETRS professional learning could help transform reading instruction in her classroom. She has shown incredible enthusiasm for expanding her science-based reading instruction and has demonstrated through her grant application a deep desire to learn the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind the way we all learn to read, spell and achieve reading comprehension.

“I am so excited for Ryanne,” said Harriet Bishop Principal Ken Essay. “She is an innovator and has had a huge impact on all learners at Harriet Bishop, but specifically on our multilingual learners. She is always trying to learn and find new methods and ideas to make a difference.”

This award comes on the heels of the enactment of the Minnesota Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act, known as the READ Act, which was passed and signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz last May. The goal of this legislation is to have every Minnesota child reading at or above grade level every year, beginning in kindergarten, and to support multilingual learners and students receiving special education services in achieving their individualized reading goals.

The READ Act also carries the requirement for teacher training in the science of reading.

“The science of reading is taking a look at how students read based on their brain functioning,” said Jamie Howe, Systems Improvement and Student Achievement coordinator. “It’s actual science.”

 LETRS professional learning is a two-year literacy-focused course that provides teachers with deep knowledge to be language and literacy experts in the science of reading. Developed by Dr. Louisa Moats and leaders in the field of literacy, LETRS is used by educators in 47 states and teaches the skills needed to master the foundational and fundamentals of reading and writing instruction—phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and written language. Grant winners have the option of beginning the LETRS in March or April.