SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Mexican Consulate for Utah and Wyoming has endorsed Waterford Institute's UPSTART in-home school readiness program as an important resource to help Spanish-speaking preschool aged children to learn English and to prepare for kindergarten.
"UPSTART works hard to provide equity in education," said Eduardo Arnal, consulate of Mexico, based in Salt Lake City. "The program is a resource to all Mexican and Hispanic communities in Utah. The program provides a computer and Internet free of charge to those who qualify and want to participate."
UPSTART is an in-home, technology-delivered program that includes over 7,000 engaging educational activities in reading, math and science. Participants use UPSTART for 15 minutes per day, five days per week. The adaptive program teaches essential early literacy skills at the pace and level of each individual child to prepare children for kindergarten.
UPSTART provides full support and resources for Spanish speaking families. The program has helped many Spanish speaking preschool children learn English as well as help them prepare for kindergarten.
Families can pre-register for UPSTART at www.utahupstart.org or by phone at 800-669-4533 for the upcoming program year, which begins in late summer.
UPSTART is research-proven to help children develop early reading skills and to close learning gaps early through the individualized learning curriculum. The program was extensively evaluated by a third-party and found that children using UPSTART have two to three times higher learning rates. These findings are consistent regardless of whether children have access to additional preschool or whether they are native English speakers.
"We decided to sign [our children] up for UPSTART because we only speak Spanish at home," said Enrique Hernandez of Taylorsville. "We were worried our children wouldn't understand the basics of the English language. [UPSTART] definitely helped them to develop their abilities."
UPSTART is open to everyone, but prioritizes low-income families as well as English language learners (ELL) as part of an effort to bring equity to education and give all children a chance to succeed in learning. Last year, over 70 percent of participants were low-income. Families receive use of a free computer and free Internet during the program if they do not have access to these resources at home.
In March of this year, Waterford Institute received an additional $1 million for the UPSTART program during the 2015 Utah Legislative session. This is an additional amount to the 5-year UPSTART budget approved in 2014 and will fund up to 1,000 additional program slots.
Waterford Institute recently announced it has invested in a six-month pilot program partnering with three preschool centers in South Carolina. Last week, 70 preschoolers began using UPSTART, Waterford’s in-home school readiness program.
More than 13,000 Utah children have already participated in UPSTART since it began receiving state funding six years ago.
Waterford Institute is a nonprofit research center that creates personalized cloud-based instruction through award-winning curriculum, content and assessment for children aged pre-K to 2nd grade. As a nonprofit, Waterford is uniquely focused on providing accessibility, equity and excellence for our youngest learners to position them for a lifetime of learning and success. For more information, visit www.waterford.org or call 801-349-2200.