District launching free pre-K literacy tool

Footsteps2Brilliance is an interactive, mobile literacy program that has been proven to increase academic vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking skills in young students. All residents of the City of Manassas will be able to download the curriculum app for free on their smartphones and tablets, or use the program on their traditional computers.

“With the increase in rigor, a new reality exists for young students,” said Dr. Melissa Saunders, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “Kindergarten has become yesterday’s first grade, and pre-K is now yesterday’s kindergarten. Due to budgetary and space restrictions, however, MCPS, like many other districts in Virginia, does not have the capacity to serve all the pre-K students within its jurisdiction. The Footsteps2Brilliance platform will allow us to create a blended pre-K model for all pre-K children, not just those enrolled in MCPS.”

The best public investment our dollars can make is in early literacy, which propels students towards academic success and increases their opportunities. Every $1 dollar spent on quality early education produces a $14 to $17 return.

“Dr. Magouyrk is leading Virginia and the nation in creating a transformative pre-school model that will level the playing field for all children,” said Ilene Rosenthal, CEO of Footsteps2Brilliance, Inc. “By leveraging the mobile technology and traditional computers that parents already own, Dr. Magouyrk will be able to provide every pre-K child in her district with hundreds of books, songs, and learning activities that have been shown to increase vocabulary and literacy in young children regardless of their socio-economic status.”

“Through the Footsteps2Brilliance partnership, MCPS will provide a springboard for all students, whether or not there is the physical capacity to bring them into the pre-K classroom,” said Dr. Magouyrk. “When kindergarten students come to school with a strong literacy background, they have more opportunity to be successful academically as they progress through school.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione

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