College Bound from Birth

The language gap between rich and poor children begins at birth.  In fact, Stanford University research found that 2-year-old children of lower income families may already be 6 months behind in language development.  Early learning gives the strongest return on investment, providing a clear path to a college education and career success.

Footsteps2Brilliance is excited to announce our partnership with College Bound from Birth. Designed and delivered by the early childhood education experts at Collaborative for Children, College Bound from Birth is a three-year quality improvement program offered at no cost in selected neighborhoods throughout Texas.  Program components aim to improve the quality of early learning, leading to kindergarten readiness.  Nobel Prize winning economist, James Heckman, whose research has proven the economic benefits of quality early learning, serves on the Collaborative for Children’s Advisory Board.

As part of this initiative, Footsteps2Brilliance is working with 25 outstanding Childcare Centers throughout Texas to address early childhood literacy.  This Neighborhood Impact Model is dedicated to building adult capabilities to improve student learning. Footsteps2Brilliance has built the Collaborative for Children Curriculum.  The curriculum is designed to work with teachers, improve the quality of learning environments, and help parents become their children’s first teachers.  College Bound from Birth aims to achieve 3- or 4-star Texas Rising Star Certification at all of its centers.

The Collaborative for Children Curriculum supports parents and educators by providing books, songs, and learning activities that develop rich language immersion and exposure to print.  Parents and educators can access the curriculum on any smart phone, tablet, or computer, allowing them to work with their children even when children are unable to attend in-person class because of COVID restrictions.  Because 80% of English Language Learners come from Spanish speaking households, students and parents benefit from Footsteps2Brilliance’s bilingual English and Spanish curriculum.

The College Bound from Birth initiative works through existing neighborhood coalitions to build awareness of the importance of quality early learning programs. By providing early childhood learning resources to parents and building open relationships of sharing and trust, Collaborative for Children engages parents in their child's learning experiences, immersing their children in reading, writing, speaking, and listening even before they enter kindergarten. This is an important step in eliminating the education gaps that persist in our society today and preparing children for the academic rigor needed to succeed in college.

About the Author

Ilene Rosenthal is the CEO and Founder of Footsteps2Brilliance, a breakthrough educational software company that accelerates student achievement by uniting the power of mobile gaming with the latest in cognitive research.  Footsteps2Brilliance has won numerous awards and honors.  It has been recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and the Clinton Global Initiative for its ability to scale early literacy citywide.  In addition, it has been honored by the United Nations for the work that it has done to help children in developing countries become literate through its partnership with Teach the World Foundation.  Learn more at

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