Pomona Kids Get Access to New Literacy App

Pomona Unified is one of 12 school districts across the state that was granted free access to the Footsteps2Brilliance Early Learning Literacy App, which was created to help young children expand their vocabularies and develop literacy skills. The app contains more than 1,000 children’s books, nursery rhymes, songs, educational games and other resources parents can use with their children from infancy to second grade.

Studies show children from low-income families are likely to speak 30 million fewer words by age three as compared with their more affluent peers. This results in delayed reading and academic skills, which may put these children behind not only in school but in other areas of their lives. By giving district students access to this app, Pomona Superintendent Richard Martinez hopes to “use third grade not to determine how many beds are needed in prison but how many seats are needed in college.”

Some low-income families may not have access to an internet connection at home, so the school district has been involving local businesses to allow families to use their Wi-Fi. Though many do not have internet, about 80% of parents, regardless of socioeconomic status, have a smart phone.

The district hopes to see similar success to that of the Buena Park School District, which has used the pilot program and saw kindergarten and first graders pick up English much faster than students who did not have access to the program. Stephanie Baker, Pomona Unified’s deputy superintendent of instructional services, said the district’s goal is to have their students read 500 million words by September.

Read more in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.