Since the launch of the Osceola Reads program in February 2016, the literacy app, Footsteps2Brilliance, has registered 3,863 community users in Osceola County, surpassing the goal of 3,750 expected users in the first year of the five-year initiative.
Of the estimated 15,000 eligible families, over 25% have currently registered for the reading readiness app, which provides Osceola County children a head start prior to beginning their first day of school. The program, best suited for second graders and below, aids in the acceleration of vocabulary skills, comprehension, creativity, and improves test-taking skills through engaging games and learning exercises.
The launch of this five-year reading initiative last year aimed to increase the literacy rate throughout the community, and is already proving successful. Last year, it was estimated that only 13% of Osceola kindergarteners were prepared for school via the kindergarten assessment. This year, the data shows a significant increase to 33% due to the efforts of many district and community initiatives. Use of the free reading tool, Footsteps2Brilliance, continues to aim to decrease the amount of time teachers spend catching students up and teaching them to read. Through digital technology, this mobile app links home and school.
From the start, we garnered partnerships with key organizations in the community, including the Early Learning Coalition of Osceola County, an organization crucial to reaching our youngest learners before they enter kindergarten. Their ongoing efforts to reach families with young children within Osceola’s private child care system, as well as the efforts of our other partners, made achieving our first-year goals possible.
With the use of the app, sponsors of the Osceola Reads program (the School District and Education Foundation of Osceola County, cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud, and the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners) are confident that Osceola County’s youngest learners will be prepared for school and achieve a higher level of learning in phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, and writing.
To register, parents may visit www.OsceolaReads.com and complete the registration process. For the latest information, follow the initiative on social media at facebook.com/OsceolaReads, @OsceolaReads on Twitter, and @OsceolaReads on Instagram.