Prioritizing Pre-K learning in the Granite State
Federal funds tapped to help families prepare 4-year-olds for kindergarten
CONCORD, NH — The education of New Hampshire’s 4-year-olds is front and center, with federal dollars being used to make the Waterford Upstart at-home program available to hundreds of more children in the Granite State.
State leaders are using the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to provide children access to Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path from June to August. The students who complete the program will be ready for kindergarten this fall, and many will be reading at a nearly first grade level.
“Children beginning school on par with their peers have better educational outcomes and better life outcomes,” said Kim Fischer, national spokesperson for Waterford.org. “That is our goal.”
State leaders are also using ESSER funds to provide Waterford Upstart to New Hampshire children entering kindergarten in the fall of 2023.
"Millions of children and families have benefited from the ongoing research, development and enhancement of the Waterford.org curriculum in schools, homes and learning centers around the world," said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of education. "The Waterford Upstart program helps close the well-documented preschool access gap, providing proven school-readiness support for children most at risk of school failure."
Waterford Upstart is an at-home, PreK learning program that provides positive, parent-child interactions while delivering personalized, online instruction. During the summer program, children will engage with the curriculum for 20 minutes a day, five days a week. During the fall program, they will utilize the adaptive software 15 minutes a day, five days a week.
“Preschool is the ideal platform for children to build a strong academic foundation and enhance language and literacy – skills that are critical for school readiness. Leveraging federal dollars so that more families throughout New Hampshire may have access to Waterford Upstart will not only promote curiosity, but also impact future education while simultaneously providing positive opportunities for children to grow,” said Christine Brennan, deputy commissioner of education.
Waterford.org is an education nonprofit with a mission to achieve universal literacy for children through equity, access and parent empowerment. Waterford develops educational tools that guide students along adaptive, individualized learning paths toward fluent reading and lifelong learning. Waterford empowers parents as a child’s first teacher and supports teachers in taking the right actions at the right time for their students. Currently, Waterford.org serves more than 300,000 children across 43 states every year.