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Free Kindergarten Readiness Program for 3-4 Year Olds
Free Kindergarten Readiness Program for 3-4 Year Olds
HSD - JoAnne VerMulm
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Do you know a child who lives in South Dakota and was born between 09/16/2015 - 09/15/2016? The US Department of has offered another round of grants for a new group of 3 and 4 year olds.

This is an opportunity to participate in a no-cost Kindergarten Readiness program. This unique opportunity for South Dakota families allows for participation in the Waterford UPSTART program to support home-based kindergarten readiness delivered via technology. When parents are given the tools and knowledge to support their children, everyone wins. Every parent is empowered as their child’s first teacher right in the home.

What Families Will Receive

  • Research-based, efficacious, award-winning reading and math/science instruction delivered to each child for 15-20 minutes daily
  • Weekly family support through a family education liaison to encourage the family through literacy knowledge, preparation for supporting a school-age child, and usage tracking. This personalized support is available in over 20 languages.
  • All necessary hardware, software, and infrastructure for each family (including a laptop computer for each family, software, and internet when needed).
  • Software licenses for all children in the home, including those who are not participating in the program directly, but may require additional reading, math, and science support.
  • Pre/Post Assessment and efficacy research.

How to Get Involved

  • Families can register for Waterford UPSTART directly by completing the pre-registration form online at or by calling 1-888-982-9898.
  • You may download and share this document with families. Waterford will provide you with printed copies if you request them.
  • To be eligible, children must have a birth date that falls between: 09/16/2015 - 09/15/2016.
  • For more information or questions, please contact Sarah Walsh, our Waterford South Dakota Representative, at

FREE to both families and school districts, this program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education called Education, Research, and Innovation (EIR).

This grant is focused on providing services to 250 children in the 2020-2021 school year.