Fountain Lake School District Brings No-Cost Early Education Program into the Home


Determined not to let children fall through the cracks, the Fountain Lake School District brings free early education program into the home

December 16, 2020 (Hot Springs, AR) – According to several recent reports, millions of children have gone missing from the education system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For our youngest learners, in their most crucial learning years, this can mean serious, long-term consequences. To ensure our preschool-aged students get the educational tools and support they need to be ready for their first day of school, Fountain Lake School District now has a solution that works for all families—whether they’re enrolled in PreK or learning at home. We’ve partnered with the early education nonprofit,, to bring the Waterford Upstart program to Fountain Lake families.

“The Fountain Lake School District seeks to find and identify every child who will be eligible for kindergarten each year,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael D. Murphy. “During this pandemic many of our families have been reluctant to send their children to our onsite preschool program. This online approach presents another opportunity for learning and provides technology, connectivity, and a nine month curriculum to support early learning. Our parents play a vital role in the education of their child and this program allows them to engage with their child to build confidence in basic skills needed to be successful in school.”

Through the use of Title I funds, the Fountain Lake School District is providing the Waterford Upstart program and family coaches at no cost. Waterford Upstart is an in-home, early education program that prepares four-year-old children for kindergarten by providing families the tools they need to be their first and most influential teachers. The program provides positive parent-child interactions while delivering personalized, online instruction 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The Fountain Lake School District will also provide a computer and internet for those families who need them.

Waterford Upstart has been rigorously tested and proven, earning the program a federal EIR grant and the title of a TED Audacious project. Independent research shows the average Waterford Upstart graduate enters kindergarten reading at nearly a first-grade level and maintains those gains through the fourth grade.

Registration for Waterford Upstart is now open to families in the Fountain Lake School District. Parents can register right now for this at-home, no-cost program by logging on to is an early 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. We empower parents as a child’s first teacher, and we support teachers in taking the right actions at the right time for their students. In total, serves more than 300,000 children every year through all of our programs, and that number is continually growing.


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