Community Needs : Early Childhood Development, Education
This grant offered bridge funding for teachers who provide kindergarten readiness and English-language instruction for four-year-olds in neighborhoods where they live. A Bookmobile-style van has been outfitted with 8 computers and the Waterford literacy software program, a nationally recognized computer-based early learning program designed specifically for children who lack English-language fluency. Two certified teachers drive the van and visit multiple Eastside and Westside neighborhood sites year-round to instruct and supervise 100 4-year olds who are not enrolled in preschool. In its first three years, this free yearlong daily intervention, individualized to each child, has reduced the number of non-English speaking children entering kindergarten by 60%. English reading readiness (ADEPT) testing has shown that children enrolled in the Mobile Waterford program scored three times as high as children who did not receive this intervention.