Wyoming Department of Education > For District Leadership > Literacy

Contact Information

Literacy Team Supervisor
Kimberly Lane
(307) 777-7673
Early Learning Specialist
Amy Reyes
(307) 777-7708
CLSD Project Manager
Denise Fertig
(307) 777-5761
CLSD Program Manager
Dr. Claudia Ladd
(307) 777-3360
CLSD Program Manager
Kylie Corpening
(307) 777-3440

Literacy is a fundamental human right that empowers individuals to take in information and communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Literacy builds knowledge, empathy, perspective, access, and critical thinking.  Literacy is embedded in all social contexts and vital to the inclusion of all people. 

The WDE Literacy team is committed to supporting literacy in all of its forms across the state for people birth through adulthood. Along with the work of our current initiatives, we are here to support your district, school, teachers, students, and parents as we all work to improve literacy outcomes for students.  We value your input so please reach out to us at any time. 

The Literacy Team is working to develop resources for the WDE Literacy web page.  As we continue to develop our website, we will update information here that can inform your Literacy learning.

The Science of Reading

The WDE Literacy team supports all strands and aspects of teaching students to learn to read and read to learn with evidence based practices.  As stated by The Reading League, “the science of reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing…. The science of reading has culminated in a preponderance of evidence to inform how proficient reading and writing develop; why some have difficulty; and how we can most effectively assess and teach and, therefore, improve student outcomes through prevention of and intervention for reading difficulties.” (The Reading League [TLR], 2022). The WDE supports scientifically based research that indicates: 

  • Print literacy results from skilled reading which includes fluent word recognition and text comprehension. Science informs the patterns of reading skills which develop for all learners. (TLC, 2022, Gough & Tunmer, 1986, Scarborough, 2001)
  • Foundational word recognition skills must be taught in an explicit and systematic manner including phonemic awareness, decoding and encoding and reading connected text. (TRL, 2022)
  • Language comprehension is built early through read alouds of complex text, robust conversations, and explicit instruction in grammatical structures. (TLR, 2022)
  • Older students who do not have word reading skills need to be taught these skills explicitly and for these students may reflect a need for multisyllabic word instruction (IES, 2022). 
  • Knowledge building is crucial to the development of comprehension and analysis, and needs to begin in kindergarten. . (Recht & Leslie, 1988; Cabell & Hwang, 2020)
  • Literacy is deeply embedded in our social context (Gotlieb et al, 2022, Arya and Maul (2021).
  • Reading science includes evidence for the instruction of  learners with linguistic differences.
  • The science of reading is positively embedded in a MTSS framework and the larger science of learning evidence for good teaching practices.
  • The body of research referred to as the science of reading is ever growing and the WDE supports the evidence of practices, instruction, and interventions which improve literacy outcomes for all learners.

View the Reading League website

Literacy Professional Development

  • The Writing Revolution, by Judith Hochman and Natalie Wexler, book study: Revolutionize your writing instruction and improve student literacy. This book study is appropriate for all grade levels.  PTSB credit: 1. Time commitment of approximately 2 hours per month, a little more if you practice implementing the strategies.  Meeting times: 2nd Wednesday at 4:30. First session September 13th, 2023. Virtual.
    • You will need to register on the new WDE Professional Development platform after September 1st.  Email Kim Lane with questions or to get on the list prior to 9/1/23.
  • Embrace Literacy All Year Long! Topical Webinar series.  Elementary and Secondary strand most months. Great sessions in the works! This is an extension of our annual Embracing Literacy conference.  Meeting times: 3rd Tuesday at 4:30, First session tentatively planned: September 19th, 2023. Virtual.
    • You will need to register on the new WDE Professional Development platform after September 1st.  Email Kim Lane with questions or to get on the list prior to 9/1/23.
  • Literacy Leaders Book Study: The WDE is partnering with the University of Wyoming to do a multi month book study on school improvement.  This will be open to grant and non grant districts.  Details will be available by the end of August.  Contact Kim Lane with questions and watch the WDE Monthly and social media for updates.
  • K-3 Reading Assessment and Intervention Support: in development.
  • Check here or on the PD platform for other opportunities that we develop throughout the year. 

To learn more about the Embracing Literacy Conference
 visit here.

WY BILT Literacy Initiative

The WY BILT Literacy Initiative is provided by the federal Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant (CLSD). 25 districts applied and received funding through this initiative.  There may be the opportunity for all districts to apply for funds in 2025.  

WY BILT Literacy Grant

Wyoming Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge

Desert View Elementary and Pinedale Elementary Schools have been named the winners of the Wyoming Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge! The students’ exceptional performance in both participation and the number of books read per student has earned them a well-deserved personal visit from Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and Superintendent Degenfelder to celebrate their remarkable achievement.

The successful participation of the students in this challenge is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the families, teachers, staff, and community, who played a crucial role in instilling a love for reading among these students. This is a significant achievement for both schools, and we wholeheartedly congratulate them on their well-deserved success!

K-3 Reading Assessment and Intervention Statute and Chapter 56 Rules

Wyoming Statute 21-3-401, as amended in 2022, indicates requirements for districts regarding K-3 Reading Assessment and Intervention.  Chapter 56 rules defining the statute have been signed into effect and are available here. The development included a stakeholder group representing district size, geographic location, levels of professionals, and reading orientation. Input was sought from various state professional organizations, agencies, and the University of Wyoming as well as reading experts in the area of early reading skills.

Please see the K-3 Reading Assessment and Intervention Statute and Chapter 56 Rules page for further information.

Reading Assessment and Intervention Statute and Chapter 56 Rules Page

K-3 Literacy Guidance Framework
Early identification and instruction aimed at addressing potential reading difficulties is the key to preventing prolonged difficulties in learning to read and ensuring that all students are reading with proficiency by the end of third grade. Tier 1 core reading curricula, Tier 2 supports, and Tier 3 interventions need to be: (a) evidence-based, (b) comprehensive, and (c) targeted towards the unique needs of students and instructional contexts. Universal Screening of students for signs of dyslexia and other reading difficulties beginning in Kindergarten is one of the first steps in this prevention process. This document will examine these topics and more.

K-3 Literacy Guidance Framework

District Literacy Reports
WS 21-3-401 requires data collection on K-3 Reading Assessment and Intervention.  WDE is collecting this data in the WDE 626 form.  See the District Reporting Requirements and District Literacy Plans section of the K-3 Foundational Reading Statute Page for more information.

Resources for Literacy in the Elementary Grades (coming soon)

Resources for Literacy in the Upper Grades (coming soon)

Resources for Early Literacy – Birth to Kindergarten
Early Childhood WDE page

Resources for Adult Literacy (coming soon)