The Kentucky Reading Association is a professional organization of educators and individuals actively engaged in the development of literacy throughout the Commonwealth. We are committed to encouraging lifelong reading for pleasure and learning, providing information related to literacy, increasing opportunities for professional growth, and promoting research-based instructional practices.

Our awards include:
2007-2016 ILA Award of Excellence

2007, 2010, 2013, 2015 ILA Advocacy Award


The Kentucky Reading Association was chartered in l963 as the Kentucky State Council, International Reading Association in order to:

  1. promote the development of local councils;
  2. encourage the study of reading problems at all educational levels;
  3.  stimulate and promote research in developmental, creative, corrective, and remedial reading;
  4. study the various factors that influence progress in reading;
  5. publish the results of pertinent and significant investigations and practices;
  6. assist in the development of more adequate teacher-training programs;
  7. act as intermediate clearing house for information relating to reading;
  8. disseminate knowledge helpful in the solution of problems related to reading; and
  9. sponsor and promote stimulating programs (conferences and meetings) at a level not usually attainable by a local council.

The original by-laws for the council were adopted March 2, 1963 but they have been revised several times over the years. In April, 1994 the name of the council was changed from the Kentucky State Council, International Reading Association (KSC/IRA) to the Kentucky Reading Association, K.R.A.

Elected officers of the KRA originally included president, vice-president, vice-president elect, treasurer, recording secretary, and corresponding secretary. Later the offices of recording and corresponding secretary were combined. The elected officers serve on the Board of Directors. Other members of the Board include a state coordinator appointed by the IRA, a representative from the Kentucky Department of Education, presidents of all active local councils, and nine appointed board members representing all areas of the state.

From the beginning the Kentucky State Council (now KRA) was affiliated with the International Reading Association and many of the state council members served on national committees and advisory groups. The council has been represented at national conventions by designated delegates and it has participated in IRA leadership training and other IRA sponsored activities. The council sponsored an IRA Southeast Regional Conference which was held in Lexington .


Goal One: Document Organizational History
  • Create system for storing and retrieving archives
  • Organize and preserve archived items
  • Digitize and/or secure archival records
Goal Two: Standardize and Improve Marketing & Branding
  • Establish protocols for KRA branding and communication
  • Develop strategic marketing plan
  • Solicit new ideas and funding sources for marketing/branding projects
Goal Three: Provide Professional Development that is Responsive to State’s Needs
  • Explore and model PD delivery methods
  • Conduct state needs assessment
  • Promote high-quality PD providers and research-based resources
Goal Four: Strengthen Local Council/State Support
  • Increase communication among councils
  • Increase participation and support between local councils and Executive Board
Goal Five: Communicate More Consistently with Partners and Members
  • Increase online networking
  • Maintain up-to-date website
  • Provide stakeholders with detailed calendar/timeline
  • Cultivate horizontal and vertical relationships within KRA structure
  • Catalog and provide access to archived resources

Past Presidents

The following past presidents are among the many loyal reading educators who have been involved with the KRA over the years:

Mary Elizabeth Bell 1963-1964 Eleanor Engdahl 1964-1965 Virginia Fulcher 1965-1966
Wallace Ramsey 1966-1967 Betsy Mynhier 1967-1968 Evelyn Huff 1968-1969
Robert Byrne 1969-1970 William Hampton 1970-1971 Irene Reynolds (Lunsford) 1971-1972
Curtis Englebright 1972-1973 Dorothy Alexander 1973-1974 Yancy Watkins 1974-1975
Dorothy Jones 1975-1976 Judy Lay 1976-1977 James Gibbs 1977-1978
Judy Thomas (Duby) 1978-1979 Leanna Shearer (Austin) 1979-1980 Bertha Ratliff 1980-1981
Janet Miller 1981-1982 Tom Pearce 1982-1983 Joseph Clark 1983-1984
Jean Groves Merrell 1985-1986 Nicole Woodward 1986-1987 Shirley Byrne 1987-1988
Emily M. Cunningham 1988-1989 Nancy H.Todd 1989-1990 Rebecca B. Tonietti 1990-1991
JoAnna Dickey 1991-1992 Sharon Martin 1992-1993 Benita Buckles 1993-1994
Jean Roberts 1994-1995 Jill Hughes 1995-1996 Janel deBoer 1996-1997
Ann Curry Ruff 1997-1998 Joyce Creek 1998-1999 Shirley Long 1999-2000
Judy Ihrig 2000-2001 Renee Murray 2001-2002 Harriet Arrington 2002-2003
Beverly Boulware 2003-2004 Laura Crafton 2004-2005 Faye Deters 2005-2006
Felicia Cumings Smith 2006-2007 Brenda J. Overturf 2007-2008 Tiffany Wheeler 2008-2009
Tammy Board 2009-2010 Tammy Board 2010-2011 Cindy Parker 2011-2012
Diana Porter 2012-2013 Robin Hebert 2013-2014 Laurie Henry 2014-2015