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Literacy program teaches kids how to read and write for free

The program adjusts to your child's learning level. A laptop, internet access, and tutor are also provided for free.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  A free hands-on literacy program is helping kids who will start kindergarten next year by providing free learning services to those who sign up in selected areas in Tennessee. 

The program provides kids with the basics of literacy.

“I wanted the best for myself, so of course, I’m going to want 20 times more than my son. I’m going to make all types of sacrifices that I can make to make sure he receives just as best of one the education that my parents provided for me and I’ll pass it along to him,” Kimberly Haynes said.

She explained that she cannot afford to not be involved in her 4-year-old son’s Jamison Miller’s learning, especially since he will be starting kindergarten next school year.

“We have this software to where he can be able to utilize to where it can engage him and keep him focused and interacting and also learning as well,” Haynes explained.

The Waterford Upstart literacy program is hands-on, and it is designed to prep kids with the basics like reading, using letter sounds to write their names, and more, all before they start kindergarten.

Haynes said she first learned about this interactive program from Jamison’s daycare, which recommended that she sign him up.

It only requires 15 minutes of you and your child’s time, five days a week. Haynes said it is helped her son get ahead of his age range.

“My son is a visual learner, so by them using cartoonish fishers grasps the attention of my son. It helps him identify sight words that he already previously have learned,” Haynes stated. “So to add on to what he’s already learning with the software that they utilize.”

The Waterford software will actually meet your child right where he or she is in their academic journey by adjusting to their learning level. A laptop, internet access, and a tutor are also provided at no cost.

Haynes said this has helped her as a parent know what areas to focus on with her son beyond the program.

“It’s very inspirational for me and him because he’s actually sitting there, going through the mode with the activities and actually learning,” Haynes said.

And to take it a step further, there is also an option to get help with math and science. Spokesperson John McCann said this program gives kids a boost in their journey.

“By the time they enter kindergarten by 2023, on average, Waterford Upstart will enter kindergarten reading at nearly a first-grade level, so you think about that third-grade reading being that benchmark and they want kids to be on grade level by third grade,” McCann said. “Well our program positions kids to be able to reach that.”

The organization that created the literacy program is called Waterford.org, which is a national non-profit that is dedicated to providing high-quality educational resources for children and their families. To sign up and find out if you live in a county that qualifies, click here.

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