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Free kindergarten prep for Colorado kids (and how to apply!)

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The COVID-19 pandemic left many families without an early education option in the crucial months before they begin kindergarten. In order to ensure Colorado children are prepared for that first day of school this fall, is providing the Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path at no cost to families to keep kids on track over the summer. This program seeks 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. 

With the Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path, parents receive weekly calls from a personal coach. Additionally, notifications through Waterford’s app let them know what their child is learning and suggest ways to engage together offline. Children use Waterford Upstart’s personalized online program 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week during the condensed summer program. This allows students to achieve the number of program 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. Laptops and internet access will also be provided at no cost to those families who need them.

This is the second year has provided the Summer Learning Path program to families across the country. Results show the program works! In the summer of 2020, more than 13,000 children across nine states registered for the Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path. Using the software five days a week over the course of 13 weeks, children achieved an average grade equivalence of “Kindergarten Advanced” level—which is where most children score at the end of their kindergarten year.

This year, the Waterford Upstart Summer Learning path will be available to 800 families across Colorado at no cost. To apply for this free program or to learn more, click here.

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