Early learning opportunity available for rising kindergarten students

Published 10:28 am Thursday, June 2, 2022

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow is encouraging parents of children entering kindergarten this fall to take advantage of a free online summer learning program provided by Waterford.org, a Utah-based nonprofit specializing in early learning.

The program provides 20-25 minutes of daily age-appropriate reading, mathematics and science instruction and includes all necessary software and technology — including home internet access, if needed — at no cost to participating families.

“I am so excited that the Virginia Department of Education is able to make this award-winning summer early learning program available this summer to rising kindergartners across the commonwealth,” Balow said. “The program helps young learners develop school-readiness skills as they participate in fun online activities that are tailored to their age and development.”

Balow encourages parents of rising kindergartners to register as soon as possible as online instruction begins June 6. Parents may register online or by phone at (888) 982-9898.

Waterford.org is making its Upstart Summer Learning Path program available to Virginia families at no cost through a partnership with the Overdeck Family Foundation.

In addition to technology and software, participating families will receive weekly support from a literacy and school readiness coach, with coaching services available in more than 20 languages.

Waterford.org will also provide software licenses to all children in participating homes, including early learners not participating directly but in need of instructional support in reading, math and science.

As an added bonus, families of rising kindergartners who successfully complete the Upstart Summer Learning Program may keep their laptops.