For Immediate Release
Contact: Dr. Greg Spencer
Riverside, Calif., April 14, 2022 --For districts struggling with how to implement California’s new mandate for transitional kindergarten expansion, there’s good news. Footsteps2Brilliance has been working in this area with Counties and Districts throughout California and getting extraordinary results.
As Transitional Kindergarten learning standards are defined, Footsteps2Brilliance resources align to the critical skills TK students need to master to be ready for kindergarten. Footsteps2Brilliance programs build strong foundations in phonics, phonological awareness, early numeracy and science concepts, and assist in social emotional development.
California is making a historic investment in its early education system. The new $2.7 billion universal transitional kindergarten program is being hailed by many experts as a game-changer for families in a state with an extremely large population of children under the age of 5, almost 3 million.
This expansion of the current transitional kindergarten (TK) program will create more equity in early education. Increasing access to preschool is essential to closing the achievement gap, since about 90% of brain growth happens before kindergarten (Ref: Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/)
While California’s plan is to implement Universal TK through the public school system, some advocates argue the program should also be available through preschools and childcare centers in a mixed delivery model. This implementation requires scalable early childhood education solutions that level the playing field while supporting students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Footsteps2Brilliance is already working with an increasing number of California school districts, counties, and organizations to implement a bilingual learning solution proven to increase early childhood literacy. This comprehensive and interactive program plants the seeds of learning for pre-school aged children and nourishes the love of reading as they learn through play, via the free programs available now on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Unique to the Footsteps2Brilliance application, once downloaded, students do not need an internet connection to participate, which supports equity access.
“It is a well-known adage that students who learn to read by 3rd grade will then read to learn for the rest of their lives. But, if students aren’t confident readers, they will struggle to learn as they approach middle school, and become a dropout risk in high school,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin Gomez.
Currently, Transitional Kindergarten serves about 100,000 children. The new universal TK program, by contrast, will gradually be made available to every 4-year-old in California, eventually serving nearly 400,000 students. This requires larger, more scalable solutions that have been proven effective within schools, centers, homes, and other early childcare programs.
“We are honored to be working with so many districts in California to help scale universal TK to every child in the state, whether at school, home, or in between,” says Footsteps2 Brilliance CEO, Ilene Rosenthal. “This solution not only supports the amazing teachers who already help educate our youngest children, but also provides a bridge to a student’s passion for lifelong learning and success.”
As staffing remains one of the biggest hurdles for implementing universal TK, digital solutions like Footsteps2Brilliance can help. With an existing and growing teacher shortage in the state, according to the Learning Policy Institute, software that is easily managed on personal devices, like mobile phones and tablets, can support California’s growing need to bring in an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 new teachers and 16,000 new teaching assistants.
Schools, Parents, Pre-Schools, and Community Centers can learn more about Footsteps2Brilliance and the early childhood learning solution currently being used leading districts by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.