Osceola County launches new app to help pre-k read and write

- We’ve heard about prep classes to get kids ready for college or even high school, but what about kindergarten? Administrators with the Osceola County School District tell us it’s needed. According to their records, 87 percent of students are not ready for kindergarten.

However a new mobile app is helping the district turn things around. It’s called “Footsteps2Brilliance.” It’s an app that gives students pre-k through 2nd grade a head start to success.

“They’re working really hard on this at home with their parents help and with our help, so doing it all on their own without having somebody there to be with them, it’s self-driven,” said a pre-k teacher Michelle Brown with the Center for Early Learning in Osceola County. This app is not only self-driven, but it is free.

Footsteps2Brilliance is also a huge help for kids learning English as a second language. “Because Footsteps2Brilliance is able to play the word in English and then switch to Spanish she was able to go back and forth and identify at her own level, at her own speed,” stated Brown in reference to a student learning English.

Brown said her 4 year old student Alondra didn’t speak a word of English when she came to her classroom. Thanks to the fun, interactive app, she’s way ahead of the game, and ready for kindergarten. Brown said after using the app for a month she’s tripled her English vocabulary and can say complete sentences.

Lee Franco coordinates the Footsteps2Brilliance program for the Osceola County School District. She says this app is different than any other because you can use it on your phone or iPad rather than strictly a traditional computer. It links at home and at school, giving the teacher and parents a look at the child’s progress. “We want them to be successful when they go to kindergarten," said Franco. "If a child comes with a 30 million word gap in kindergarten research says he or she will always be behind because they will always be trying to catch up.”

So what better way than to start now, when they’re learning their first words? If you want to learn more about this free app and how you can register visit this website: www.OsceolaReads.com

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