FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Steve Honig
The Honig Company, LLC
School district offering early education curriculum delivered through text messages to San Francisco families; addresses ‘digital divide’ to include underserved households without internet access or computers
SAN FRANCISCO, June 8, 2020 – In an effort to support families throughout San Francisco during the COVID-19 school closures and provide parents with at-home learning activities to keep their children on track academically, socially and emotionally, the San Francisco Unified School District is offering the text-based Ready4K program at no cost to families throughout the San Francisco area.
Ready4K is an evidence-based family engagement curriculum delivered through text messages. Each week, parents receive three short text messages with facts and easy tips on how to promote whole child development by building on existing family routines. On Monday, parents receive a fact to inform and motivate; Wednesday, a tip for activities that build on family routines; and Friday, a text focusing on growth to reinforce, encourage and extend the activities of the week.
The Ready4K program is based on research supported by the long-running partnership with Stanford University Graduate School of Education and San Francisco Unified School District. The program aligns with the standards the district adheres to for early learning set forth by the California Department of Education and the national Common Core State Standards Initiative.
For more information and to sign up, parents can go to the SFUSD website at https://www.sfusd.edu/announcements/2020-04-21-sign-tk-2-learning-tips-text-message. Parents will have to answer a couple of basic and anonymous questions to ensure they receive learning tips specific to the age of their child. Ready4K offers an early education curriculum for children from birth through fourth grade.
“Research has shown texting to be one of the most effective delivery platforms to reach parents, especially ones from underserved communities,” said Meenoo Yashar, Chief of SFUSD’s Early Education Department at the San Francisco Unified School District. “The Ready4K program is a resource for families that is practical and will actually help them advance their child’s development not only academically but also socially and emotionally.”
The Ready4K curriculum is aligned to nationwide learning standards with content on language and literacy, math and science, social and emotional learning, physical development, health and safety. Ready4K has the strongest underlying evidence base in the field and the program is continuously being evaluated and improved through ongoing partnerships at Stanford, Brown and Notre Dame universities. The Ready4K approach has been shown to increase family engagement at home and school and increase child learning by 2-3 months over the course of a school year.
The widespread use of text messaging combined with its ease of use and short-message format is allowing school districts, educators and administrators to implement highly effective programs for the families they serve. 97% of adults under 50 in the U.S. have mobile devices and 98% regularly send and receive text messages. Text messages have a 98% open rate, compared with 26% for education-related emails. In addition, parents from underserved communities typically use texting with the greatest frequency making the platform an effective way to overcome the digital divide and help families who do not have internet access or computers.
ParentPowered is a public benefit corporation that was established to pursue social impact by creating easy-to-use tools for great parenting to improve the lives of all children, regardless of means. In addition to the core Ready4K program, an evidence-based family engagement curriculum delivered via text messages geared toward children from birth through fourth grade, the company also offers Ready4K Trauma-Informed and Ready4K Personalized Learning. ParentPowered serves parents through partnerships with school districts, Head Starts and community, county, regional, state, and national educational organizations, working to ensure equitable learning access to parents regardless of their economic situation. The company was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in San Mateo, California More information is available at www.ParentPowered.com and on social media: IG: @Ready_4K, Twitter: @Ready4K, FB: @Ready4K.