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Green Bay partners for kindergarten readiness program

By Heather Graves
Staff Writer

GREEN BAY – Entering kindergarten with the tools and knowledge to hit the ground running is the goal of all parents, teachers and school districts.

The Green Bay school district is partnering with Waterford Upstart, a national academic readiness organization, in an effort to help assist families to accomplish just that.

Green Bay Director of Communications Lori Blakeslee said Green Bay is one of only six districts in the state selected by the Department of Public Instruction – three urban and three rural – to participate in the program.

“Families have the opportunity to sign up for the independent program and complete the work outside of the school day,” she said.

Blakeslee said the program aims to provide children – enrolled in 4K or Head Start – with additional help in reading, math and science.

“It extends the literacy and phonics exposure of children beyond what they are learning in our schools,” she said.

The program includes instruction, 15-20 minutes per day, five days per week, geared toward preparing children for kindergarten.

Participating students will receive a computer from Waterford and internet services if needed, free of charge.

“At the successful completion of the program, families can keep the device,” Blakeslee said.

The program consists of hundreds of hours of instruction with an individualized learning path to build on strengths, knowledge and skills.
According to Waterford, each family is paired with a licensed early education professional and a family educational liaison.

The program also includes what Waterford refers to as “adaptive programming” to give each enrolled student an individual experience and gear learning toward their individual needs.

Blakeslee said the district will distribute flyers to all district 4K and Head Start families, however, everything else is done directly through Waterford.

Parents can monitor their child’s progress through Waterford Mentor, a website and mobile app.

Blakeslee said families can contact Waterford Upstart directly to enroll or ask further questions about the program.

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