2023 template

Below you will find a template to help create a letter to your MN Representative or Senator! Remember, short and sweet is best. Delete the blue sections, change it to your personal information, and make it your own. (https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/).

Dear Representative XXXXX or Senator 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 the
Read Act (HF 629 (Edelson)/HF 741 (Feist) and SF1273 (Maye-Quade)/SF1925 (Maye-Quade)). These bills would do the following:

• Use $100 million of the state’s historic budget surplus to invest in our teachers to provide evidence-based reading instruction in line with the science of reading to all Minnesota students:

o Fund teacher professional development in the science of reading. Permissible uses for this funding would include literacy training from programs approved by MDE.

o Help districts to retrain or hire literacy specialists to help teachers with the implementation of evidenced-aligned reading instruction and data analysis.

o Help districts move away from balanced literacy curricula in favor of curriculums approved by MDE that demonstrate they are aligned with the science of reading.

o Support districts in data collection and evaluation through MDE.

Minnesota has a reading crisis. In 2022, 50% of Minnesota’s 3rd-grade students were NOT reading proficiently on the MCAs. Only 3 out of 10 Black students are reading proficiently by 3rd grade. While reading scores have been low for decades, the scores have been further exacerbated by COVID pandemic disruptions.

Read Act HF 629/HF 741 funds Minnesota teachers to receive professional development in the Science of Reading. This training provides teachers with in-depth knowledge based on the Science of Reading research of both foundational and higher-level literacy skills. Teachers learn how to deliver effective instruction to meet all their students’ needs. It would also help districts fund a curriculum that is rooted in the Science of Reading. This is an investment in our teachers, giving them the tools to address the root cause of Minnesota’s reading crisis.

***INSERT YOUR STORY HERE*** 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?

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 private tutoring 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 Literacy/Dyslexia Coalition in advocating for literacy improvements for all students by voting yes for the Read Act.

As your constituent and a concerned parent, I urge you to support the Read Act to deliver effective instruction to meet the learning needs of ALL Minnesota students, especially struggling readers. With your support, we can improve reading proficiency, work towards closing the achievement gap, and help all students receive an equitable education!
**ADDRESS**VERY IMPORTANT - to show that you are their constituent