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Free online pre-school offered

The deadline for Indiana families to pre-register their 4-year-olds for UPSTART, a free online kindergarten readiness program, is Dec. 31.

Through UPSTART, children are taught early reading, math and science through instructional hours, lessons, activities, books and animated songs. Participants follow their own personalized learning path, but must use the program at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week the year before entering kindergarten.

Families without internet or computer access are provided with a Chromebook and satellite internet. Additionally, families are partnered with a personal care representative who monitors each child’s progress. Access to live help by phone or email is available six days a week.

This program provides the necessary resources to prepare children for kindergarten and jumpstart their educations free of charge. 

Eligible children must have been born between Aug. 2, 2013, and Aug. 1, 2014, live in an eligible county (In Senate District 42, these include Fayette, Decatur, Franklin, Henry, Ripley, Rush and Shelby counties) and start kindergarten in 2019. There are income guidelines, starting at $20,625 or less for a family of two.

Three training sessions for parents are scheduled in December. The nearest is in Scottsburg.

For more information on UPSTART and to find out if your family qualifies, call 800-669-4533.