Nonprofit Helps Children Across the Country Avoid “COVID Slide” and Enter Kindergarten Prepared

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Many educators worried that lack of in-person learning resources this year would lead to a “COVID slide,” or a drop in academic retention and school readiness. In response to these concerns, Waterford Upstart provided a Summer Learning Path with early literacy instruction and parent empowerment tools to keep families learning.

Thanks to philanthropic donations, more than 13,000 preschool-aged children in nine states and the Navajo Nation were able to participate in the program at no cost. Additionally, qualifying families received a computer and internet access for the duration of the program.

Below are the Summer Learning program results, including statistics on low-income families served. You can view the full press release by clicking on the header for each state.

Additionally, Waterford.org can provide detailed information on counties, cities, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses on request.

Arizona

In Arizona, nearly 700 children were able to prepare for kindergarten and avoid the summer slide with the Summer Learning Path. Of these children, nearly 70% were from low-income families and nearly 40% received a computer to complete the program.

“[Waterford] Upstart not only helped hundreds of Arizona children prepare for kindergarten, they helped bridge the digital divide,” said State Representative Regina Cobb. “The summer learning program gave so many families the tools they need to keep their child learning from home.”

California

Nearly 2,000 children in California across 39 counties prepared for kindergarten and avoided the COVID slide. Over 83% of these participants were from low-income families and approximately 65% received a computer to access the program.

“With months away from school, we feared learning loss was inevitable. That’s why we partnered with Waterford.org to bring the Waterford Upstart program to our Head Start students,” said Damon Carson with Neighborhood House Association. “The results have been inspiring, and we hope to partner with Waterford.org again.”

Florida

Waterford Upstart served almost 3,300 Florida children across 44 counties with the summer learning program. Of these families, over 85% were from low-income households and 55% received a computer as part of the program.

“We must continue to look for ways to help our school children during this time of great uncertainty,” said Dave Lawrence of The Children’s Movement of Florida, “and I believe that proven technology solutions, like Waterford Upstart, can ensure our Florida children excel and are not left behind due to the interruptions caused by the pandemic.”

Navajo Nation

Nearly 200 Navajo Nation children participated in the Summer Learning Path to prepare for school and avoid the COVID slide with the Summer Learning Path. 91% of these children were from low-income families and nearly 89% received a computer as part of the program.

“I’m grateful [Waterford] Upstart brought its program to the Navajo Nation,” said State Representative Arlando Teller. “The children who used the program are ready for kindergarten and many of them, along with their families, now have a computer and access to the internet. Ahéhee’ for the opportunity and partnerships made.”

New Mexico

Nearly 500 New Mexico children across 73 municipalities were able to prepare for school and avoid learning loss through the Summer Learning Path. 65% of these participants were from low-income households and 41% received a computer to complete the program.

“With months away from school, we feared learning loss was inevitable. That’s why we were so excited to hear about the Waterford Upstart summer learning program,” said State Senator Mimi Stewart. “The results from the Native American population are also incredibly inspiring.”

Texas

Almost 2,500 Texas children across 69 counties were able to access crucial learning resources and prepare for school through the summer learning program. Over 83% of these participants were from low-income families and 68% received a computer as part of the program.

“The results from the Houston area and across the state are inspiring,” said State Senator Larry Taylor. “This is exactly the type of program we should be thinking about as we work to provide a solid foundation for our state’s early learners.”

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