Rosie spoke with Kim Fischer of Waterford.org about what they’re offering for early education.
“COVID-19 has affected all aspects of our lives. Many children in need of an early education have found themselves at home without an option in the crucial months before they begin kindergarten.
In order to make sure children are prepared for that first day of school this fall, Waterford.org is providing the Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path.
The goal: to keep kids on track over the summer to be ready for kindergarten in August. This program aims in particular to support the students and families who have been affected by COVID-19 either through personal economic hardship or due to the indefinite closure of many PreK and Head Start options.
Waterford.org is a national early education nonprofit with a mission to achieve universal literacy through access, equity, and parent empowerment. The organization received charitable donations to provide the Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path to 3,000 families across Florida this summer at no cost.
The average Waterford Upstart graduate enters kindergarten reading at an almost first-grade level. Every year, roughly 2.2 million four-year-old children in the United States, particularly children from low-income households or who live in geographically isolated areas, are unable to access site-based preschool for a variety of reasons including cost and transportation. Waterford.org looks to fill those education gaps with the Waterford Upstart program.
With Waterford Upstart, parents will receive weekly calls from a personal coach to keep the family on track. Through Waterford Mentor, families will also receive push notifications, letting them know what their child is learning and ways they can continue that engagement offline. Waterford Upstart’s personalized online program will be used 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week during the condensed summer program. This will help students achieve the number of minutes necessary to be kindergarten ready and still falls well within the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) and World Health Organization’s recommendations of no more than one hour of screen time per day for four-year-old children.
The program’s offerings also account for the nation’s digital divide in technology and internet access, as 9.4 million children in the United States do not have access to the internet at home and will provide internet installation and tools such as laptops to families that do not have these resources.”
Sponsored by Waterford.org. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.