Prairie Lakes AEA Champions Literacy Education with LETRS

POCAHONTAS, IA — The Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency (AEA) is guiding educators through the intricacies of effective reading instruction with its team of LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) trainers.

Specializing in Volume 1, Volume 2, and Early Childhood education, this team is on a mission to empower educators with the science of reading.

LETRS, a nationally acclaimed professional development program, focuses on equipping educators with the essential skills to teach reading and spelling effectively. PLAEA has invested in LETRS learning while developing a robust team of trainers capable of delivering end-of-unit sessions. These sessions are available regionally for small teams or individual educators seeking to enhance literacy instruction.

The agency also offers the end-of-unit sessions in-district during district professional learning days for districts with a sufficient number of participants.

During the 2022-23 school year, seven districts engaged in LETRS training during their professional development days. There were also 20 end-of-unit regional sessions provided agency-wide. Overall, in 2022-23, the PLAEA LETRS team trained around 400 participants.

During the current 2023-24 school year, 14 districts are engaging in LETRS during their professional development days. PLAEA also has eight regional sessions scheduled and will be adding more in June 2024.

“We are thrilled to witness the enthusiasm and commitment of so many schools in our AEA investing in this incredible professional learning opportunity,” said Tabitha DeMey, Director of Educational and Media Services. “Our LETRS trainers are well-prepared to facilitate learning around each LETRS unit. The involvement of our school improvement facilitators and special education staff adds an extra layer of support to educators across PLAEA schools in embedding this learning in all data-driven conversations.”

PLAEA’s commitment to LETRS reflects the agency’s efforts to raise the bar in literacy education. By offering both regional and in-district training options, PLAEA is ensuring schools of all sizes and locations can access this transformative professional development opportunity. For more information, visit

LETRS Training participants discussing in a group.

A group of educators participating in an activity for PLAEA's LETRS training.