2021 letter template

Below you will find a template to help create a letter to your MN Senator AND your MN Representative!  Remember, short and sweet is best. Delete the blue sections, change it to your personal information, and make it your own. Email the letter to your MN Senator & MN Representative.

Dear Senator XXXXX OR Representative XXXXX

I am writing to you as both a constituent and a concerned parent on behalf of my dyslexic child and all struggling readers to urge you to support SF244/HF288 and SF702/HF743. As I am sure you are aware, Minnesota has a reading crisis. In 2019, 45% of Minnesota’s 3rd grade students were NOT reading proficiently on the MCAs. The numbers are even more concerning when we look at our at risk students. Approximately 65% of 3rd graders who were eligible for free/reduced-price meals were NOT reading proficiently. There has not been any significant improvement in Minnesota’s reading scores since Read Well by 3rd Grade (120B.12) was passed in 2011. 

SF244/HF288 allows Minnesota teachers an opportunity to receive professional development in reading through LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling). LETRS is not a curriculum. It provides teachers with in-depth knowledge based on the most current research of both foundational and higher-level literacy skills. Teachers learn how to deliver effective instruction to meet all their students’ needs. LETRS is an investment in our teachers, giving them the tools to address the root cause of Minnesota’s reading crisis.

Structured literacy is the research-based instructional approach that bridges the gap between research and practice that has been missing from classrooms for decades. This instruction is beneficial for all students and is vital for students with learning differences. Teachers need your support to access this professional development that generally has not been offered to them by higher education institutions.

Use these questions to guide your SHORT personal story...

  • Did your student’s teacher/school help you identify your dyslexic student?
  • Did your student’s teacher/school offer remediation based on the science of reading?
  • Did you seek remediation from resources outside of the school?

FOR EXAMPLE:

My child was a struggling reader for two years before I had her assessed privately for dyslexia. I believe if the teachers had understood the foundations of reading, her difficulties would have been understood sooner and she would not have fallen so far behind. Even after being identified with dyslexia, the teachers still did not have the tools to teach structured literacy such as understanding syllable types and spelling rules. My child has received outside intervention to learn these foundational skills. Since this is expensive, I feel strongly that teachers need foundational skills based on the science of reading so that all students, regardless of socio-economic conditions, can be supported. 

I am asking you to join the Minnesota Dyslexia Coalition in advocating for literacy improvements for all students by providing schools access and funds for teacher professional development and by clarifying reading instruction requirements through:

  • SF244 / HF288 Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) grants funding provided. Licensed teachers can receive grants to complete the LETRS training.  MDE will administer the grants and provide guidance.  $2,000,000 appropriated. This is not a mandate.
  • SF702 / HF743 Modification to reading instruction requirements. Strike the word "balanced".

As your constituent and a concerned parent, I urge you to support providing teachers with the LETRS professional development needed to deliver effective instruction to meet the learning needs of ALL Minnesota students, especially struggling readers and those with learning differences. With your support, we can improve reading proficiency, work towards closing the achievement gap, and help all students receive an equitable education! I greatly appreciate your time and support.

Sincerely,

XXXXXXXXXX

**ADDRESS**VERY IMPORTANT - to show that you are their constituent