Addressing COVID Learning Loss: Free At-home Summer Program Prepares local kids for kindergarten

Education

A bottle of hand sanitizer sits on a cart as Des Moines Public Schools custodian Tracy Harris cleans a chair in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. As the Trump administration pushes full steam ahead to force schools to resume in-person education, public health experts warn that a one-size-fits-all reopening could drive infection and death rates even higher. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Albany, N.Y. (WETM)- After the Covid-19 pandemic left many families with an early education option in the crucial months before they begin kindergarten, Waterford.org is providing a summer program for free to kids on track over the summer.

Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path is ensuring that New York children are prepared for that first day of school this fall.

“In the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, an at-home solution like the Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path has proven to be not only effective in educating our youngest learners, but also a necessity for many families,” said Claudia Miner, Waterford Upstart executive director, and cofounder.

“Thanks to our generous philanthropic partners, hundreds of New York families won’t have to worry about the learning loss associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. They can feel confident their children will walk into their first day of kindergarten prepared and ready to learn,” said Miner.

Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path helps 4-year-olds prepare for their first day of school. The program is designed to give families the tools they need to become their child’s first teacher—including adaptive software 20 minutes a day 5 days a week, and family coaches who give families the tools necessary to continue working with their kids offline through fun games and tasks that coincide with their children’s lessons.

For those families who need it, Waterford.org will also provide computer and internet access at no cost.

This is the second year Waterford.org 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 700 families across New York at no cost. To sign up for the program, visit their website to register.

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