Online Learning

Florida School District Provides Free Online Kindergarten-Readiness Program

About 500 Pre-K students in Escambia County will have access to a free online summer education program designed to help children make up for lost learning due to the coronavirus. The Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path was purchased by the Escambia County School District in Florida and has been used at the elementary level. It will now be available throughout the summer months for preschoolers.

“It comes with evidence-based curriculum. So, this is not something free you’d get on the internet. This is high-quality programming that’s directly related to what students need to know as they’re starting kindergarten in August.” Kimberly Krupa, executive director of Achieve Escambia, a coalition of local agencies, told local WUWF.  

Students entering kindergarten should be able identify letters and letter sounds, shapes and colors and count to 20. Students may lose months of learning between Pre-K and kindergarten; the program hopes to bridge that gap.

The Waterford Upstart summer program includes educational songs, activities and curriculum for students and their families. Through Escambia County’s program, families will receive a free laptop and a Wi-Fi hotspot for the summer, according to Krupa.

The program runs through June 1 through August 31 and is designed to use between 20-25 minutes a day, five days a week for the duration of the summer. In addition, families get a weekly coaching call to help them understand what their children are learning.

Waterford is spending $9 million to provide the summer program in the following states: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas. The program is open to 3,000 students in Florida. Registration is now open for the program.

About the Author

Yvonne Marquez is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].