RACINE — The Racine Unified School District is receiving state funding to offer low-income families with 4-year-old children access to the Waterford Upstart program, which helps children develop the skills they need for their first day of kindergarten and beyond.
Families who register receive a software program and other tools to help engage children offline. The software is meant to be used 15 minutes a day for five days a week. In addition, each family is assigned an early learning coach who can help guide students in their native language and along adaptive, individualized learning paths.
To further bridge equity and access barriers, Waterford Upstart provides computers and internet access to families without them. Children who complete the program get to keep their computers.
The program is now accepting registrations for children who will enter kindergarten in the fall of 2022, marking the second year of the pilot program. The first year showed promising results. Seventy-one percent of students enrolled in the program last year were showing mastery of early literacy skills at their age level within the first 11 weeks of school.
To register, go to waterford.org/upstart or call 888-982-9898.