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Free online program for pre-K students available to all Maine families

Waterford.org will send families a free computer and free Wi-Fi to access the daily 20-minute classes.

MAINE, Maine — The deadline is approaching for a free summer learning program available in Maine. 

Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path is for children entering kindergarten this fall. The program involves parents and caregivers spending 20 minutes a day, five days a week, at home teaching their children how to read.

The application deadline is June 6.

"In those rural areas where, say, a caregiver might not be able to get a child to a pre-K center—whether that is due to affordability or just proximity, this program allows that caregiver to provide that education to the child in the home," John McCann, public relations manager for Waterford.org, said.

"We know that if a kid can start school being able to read and have those basic skills, it makes it easier for those classroom teachers who have been working super hard during this pandemic. It eases the burden for them in terms of having to try to get all these kids up to speed," McCann added.

The program comes with a coach who will provide teaching tips over the phone. 

If needed, the program includes a laptop and internet service. Families get to keep the laptop at the end of the program. There is no cost to families.

The organization secured philanthropic funding from the Overdeck Family Foundation, which pays for everything.

McCann said the program wants families to meet the June 6 deadline so that children can start the program and be ready to start school in the fall. McCann said the idea is to make it easy for families to spend some of their summers getting their kids prepared to enter kindergarten this fall.

All families across Maine can click here to register or call 888-982-9898.

RELATED: Free early childhood education program comes to Maine

   

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