Early Childhood Education
Pilot To Test In-home School Readiness Program
A pilot program will test a new in-home school
program for preschoolers from rural families in South Carolina who are
Institute will implement the six-month pilot for 70
students in conjunction with three pre-school centers in the state:
Home for Children, Brookland Academy Child Development Center and Daniel
Academy. Along with the software and training for the parents, Waterford
provide Chromebooks and Internet access for families that do not have
Participants will use the Upstart
program, which includes more
than 7,000 educational activities in reading, math and science, for 15
a day, five days a week. At the end of the pilot program, it will be
using usage data, assessment scores and anecdotal feedback from parents
The goal will be to help the children develop early
skills, alleviate any potential academic gaps and eliminate any
for pre-K students who may not have previously had access to computers.
"That growth would mean our children are even more
literacy skills in kindergarten," said Brookland Academy Child
Center Director Jennifer McConnell, "and that's exciting for us."
The in-home Upstart program has already been piloted
"Evaluations of the Utah pilot have shown that
early learning gaps and that children, regardless of their
background, show significant gains in critical pre-K skills," said
President and CEO Benjamin Heuston.
Although Waterford Institute's software programs are
schools and preschools throughout the United States, these pilots
first tests of its in-home program.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.