HOUSTON – A national nonprofit organization wants to ensure that low-income Texas families struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic have the tools and resources needed for their little one’s education.
Waterford.org, an early education nonprofit, is offering its kindergarten-readiness program, computers and internet access at no cost to 3,500 Texas families with the help of philanthropic grants.
“We had some of our philanthropic partners come to us and say ‘this COVID thing is gonna really mess up the lives of these kids before they enter kindergarten, can we do something to help?'" Waterford.org spokesperson Kim Fischer told KPRC 2.
The organization has been helping pre-schoolers through at-home learning for more than a decade and for the first time, is offering an at-home summer program specifically for children in the year before they enter kindergarten.
The program, called The Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path program, will be available to families facing financial hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Because of the COVID-19 situation, we know that there’s gonna be kids who have been out of school four to six months and that’s a really long time to not get any form of education," Fischer said.
Texas families who wish to enroll must meet the following requirements and are encouraged to apply before June 1:
- Must have valid a Texas address
- Pre-school aged children must be born between Sept. 1, 2014 and Sept. 1, 2015
- Child should be entering kindergarten in fall 2020
- Family must be at or below 200% federal poverty
As of May 13, Fischer said there have been 653 families who have signed up.
Fischer explained that families approved will receive a call from the organization and receive the computer and internet hotspot via mail.
“Help is on the way for parents who are doing their best but struggling during this stressful time," Waterford Upstart’s executive director and co-founder Claudia Miner said in a press release.
To apply for the program, click here.
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