Pajaro Valley Unified School District Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michelle Rodriguez, is hosting a National Literacy Summit and Press Conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Watsonville Public Library, 275 Main Street, Watsonville.
This transformative literacy initiative supports the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Students.
Through this initiative, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) is partnering for five years with Footsteps2Brilliance, Inc., the creators of
this innovative early learning mobile technology platform that enables PVUSD to provide — free of charge — libraries of eBooks, educational games and activities, and creative writing opportunities to every family with children birth through 3rd grade who reside within the communities of Aptos, Pajaro, and Watsonville.
PVUSD has locally branded the initiative Paso a Paso, Creciendo Juntos, Step by Steps, Growing Together.
Research shows that the greatest disparity of knowledge among children is an early vocabulary gap.
Children from low-income families hear 30 million fewer words before the age of 4 than their more affluent peers. This problem is compounded by the fact that 61% of low-income children have no books in their homes. No single strategy offers a greater return on investment than providing early learners with the tools needed to read proficiently by third grade. Every $1 dollar spent on quality early childhood interventions produces a $14 to $17 return.
Paso a Paso/Step by Step provides a comprehensive curriculum of over 1,000 English and Spanish books, songs, and games that are fun for children and address the vocabulary gap. Most importantly, once downloaded these educational resources can be accessed from any smartphone, or tablet, with or without an Internet connection. A computer with Internet connection allows for access anytime. Research shows that more than eighty percent of parents own smartphones or mobile devices. In partnership with Footsteps2Brilliance, PVUSD is offering families, schools, and the community a high-quality educational tool to accelerate vocabulary and literacy using the devices they already own.
“We are pleased to support our students and future students in becoming successful readers through Paso a Paso. Early access to literacy is key to fostering a love for reading,” Superintendent Rodriguez said.
Over half of all PVUSD students speak Spanish at home. PVUSD will serve as a blueprint for districts around the nation to achieve early literacy success in dual language communities. Dr. Rodriguez and her District team are seeking to leave an invaluable mark, impacting the lives of children and families throughout the communities Aptos, Pajaro, and Watsonville for years to come.
“Step by Step, Growing together is a strategy to accomplish our PVUSD Target for Student Success, and is integral to helping every child read on grade level by 3rd grade,” Superintendent Rodriguez said.
“This early literacy initiative in PVUSD is a transformative model for supporting all children — birth through third grade — toward academic and lifelong success” says Ilene Rosenthal, CEO of Footsteps2Brilliance, Inc. “By using smartphones and tablets that parents already own, Pajaro Valley USD is able to provide all parents with the tools they need to prepare their children for success in school and in life.”
Pajaro Valley Unified School District educates approximately 20,400 students at 33 PreK-12 school sites throughout the Watsonville community. Contact PVUSD at 831-786-2100. For more information about PVUSD visit: www.pvusd.net
Footsteps2Briliance, Inc. is the breakthrough early learning platform that accelerates early achievement by uniting the power of mobile gaming technology with the latest in cognitive research. www.footsteps2brilliance.com