Dallas, TX -- Feb. 6, 2018. Voyager Sopris Learning today launched a flexible, blended version of LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling), its respected professional development course of study that prepares educators for the challenging work of teaching literacy. Backed by more than 30 years of evidence-based, scientific research and more than a decade of proven success, LETRS is relied upon by thousands of educators, as it helps teachers understand and apply the science of effective reading instruction.
Voyager Sopris Learning President Aaron Ingold says the new version of LETRS, for elementary grades, now offers embedded video, online assignments, interactive exercises, and bridges the transition from learning new information to application of effective strategies and skills for student success. The classroom video clips are designed to provide models for instruction and connect to the science of reading and writing.
"This exciting new version of LETRS is very applicable to what teachers do every day, and they can immediately apply what they learn," Ingold said. "With LETRS now online, it's a very flexible solution providing multiple delivery methods—online, blended, or in-person—and can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and most significantly, on the teacher's terms."
According to Dr. Louisa C. Moats, nationally recognized literacy expert and lead author of LETRS, research shows 95 percent of first graders can be taught to read, and much reading failure can be prevented if instruction builds the critical underlying language skills on which reading depends.
"The harsh reality, however, is that far too many students are poor readers; by fourth grade, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, about 31 percent remain ‘below basic' on the test of reading ability," Dr. Moats said. "While it is important for classrooms to be well stocked with great books, most students must be taught how to read them. They need teachers who know how to teach the foundational skills of reading (phoneme awareness, phonics, and word reading) as well as vocabulary and language comprehension. Teaching reading is complex and challenging, and most teachers benefit enormously from learning what we teach in LETRS."
Districts that have trained their teachers using LETRS say their teachers exit the course of study with the background and depth of knowledge to teach language and literacy skills to every student.
"LETRS allowed us to use a common curriculum, and that allowed for the use of common practices," said Ann Marie Thigpen, superintendent of Niles City Schools in Ohio, whose district is a pilot testing site for the new LETRS. "We were able to see gaps in teaching and resources, evaluate what to keep and what to get rid of, and re-evaluate the use of pull-out vs. push-in for Title I services. It gave us the springboard to change our instructional practices."
The new, easy-to-implement LETRS is designed as a two-year course. In the first year, areas of study include theoretical models from reading science, phonology, basic and advanced phonics, and screening and educational diagnostic assessment. The second year focuses on teaching vocabulary, language and reading comprehension, and writing.
"LETRS is the answer to helping teachers grow professionally and to empowering them to understand the what, why, and how of scientifically based reading instruction," Ingold said. "As Dr. Moats often reminds us, ‘informed teachers are our best insurance against reading failure.'"
Widely acclaimed as a researcher, speaker, consultant, and trainer, Dr. Moats co-authored the new LETRS with Dr. Carol A. Tolman. Dr. Tolman has spearheaded several successful, long-term literacy initiatives and has been a consultant at the state, district, and school levels for more than 15 years.
The LETRS family features several other impactful professional development products, including a new version of LETRS for Early Childhood Educators (PreK–K). Also available are LETRS Classic (K–12), Connecting LETRS to the Classroom (K–3), and A Principal's Primer (K–8). Coming later in 2018 is an administrator's course for LETRS.
For more information on Voyager Sopris Learning, visit www.voyagersopris.com.
About Voyager Sopris Learning
Voyager Sopris Learning is an education partner committed to unlocking the full potential of every teacher and every student. We believe that the best way to meet and exceed standards in education is to address the underlying systems of teaching and learning, and to nurture those systems at their most fundamental levels. Our programs and services are based on research and classroom evidence, ensuring they are easy to implement, teacher friendly and effective. We offer a variety of digital and blended instructional tools, programs, and professional development, all of which are designed to help every teacher deliver nothing short of the highest-quality instruction to every student. Voyager Sopris Learning is a business unit of Cambium Learning Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABCD).
For more information, visit www.voyagersopris.com, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.
About Cambium Learning Group, Inc.
Cambium Learning Group (NASDAQ: ABCD) is an award-winning educational technology solutions leader dedicated to helping all students reach their potential through individualized and differentiated instruction. Using a research-based, personalized approach, Cambium Learning Group delivers SaaS resources and instructional products that engage students and support teachers in fun, positive, safe and scalable environments. These solutions are provided through Learning A-Z (online differentiated instruction for elementary school reading, writing and science), ExploreLearning (online interactive math and science simulations and a math fact fluency solution) and Voyager Sopris Learning (blended solutions that accelerate struggling learners to achieve in literacy and math and professional development for teachers). We believe that every student has unlimited potential, that teachers matter, and that data, instruction, and practice are the keys to success in the classroom and beyond.