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SOURCE Waterford Institute
SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents for Choice in Education awards Waterford Institute with "Company of the Year" for the UPSTART (Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow) program. UPSTART, funded by the Utah State Legislature, is an in-home preschool program that has provided more than seven thousand Utah children with individualized reading, math, and science curriculum, focusing on early reading skills.
Parents for Choice in Education selected Waterford Institute as Company of the Year because, "UPSTART recognizes parents and caregivers as the most important factor in a child's education and forms a partnership with them to prepare preschoolers for success in school," said Robyn Bagley, Board Chair of Parents for Choice in Education. "We want to honor Waterford Institute for shifting the paradigm through an innovative, cost-effective, and outcomes-based solution."
UPSTART has a 99.8% approval rating from parents and provides hands-on support in multiple languages to provide for Utah's diverse populations. This year, at least 70% of UPSTART participants are from low-income families and 20% are from Hispanic and Latino families. Thirty percent of families participating do not have a computer or Internet service and are provided with this equipment for the duration of the program.
Additionally, an external evaluation compared UPSTART students against a control group and found that UPSTART effect sizes were nearly twice as large as the effects for individualized learning or tutoring. Results proved consistent across race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
"We couldn't be happier to receive this recognition. We're proud of what we have achieved here in Utah, but recognize it is just the beginning," said Dr. Benjamin Heuston, president of Waterford Institute. "Right now, we are only serving 3% of Utah's children. Our vision is that every child deserves the right to excellent education. UPSTART is the most cost-effective way to accomplish that goal and we look forward to partnering with the legislature and parents across the state to dramatically increase the number of families using UPSTART in the coming year."
For four years now, Parents for Choice in Education has held an Annual Education Symposium to award thought leaders who are focused on ensuring that all children have equal access to a quality education through innovation and choice.
Waterford Institute (www.waterford.org) is a nonprofit research center dedicated to providing every child with the finest education through high-quality educational models, programs, curriculum and software. Founded by Dr. Dustin Heuston more than thirty-five years ago in New York City, the Waterford Institute has been a pioneer in providing educational excellence and equity to all children through harnessing the power of new technologies in order to supplement school experience. Today, Waterford is the nation's leader in preschool through grade two software for reading, math, and science programs, with over half a million children across the United States using Waterford programs.
A. Cory Maloy
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